Home Health How is it that Japan has declared war on floppy disks (and faxes as well)

How is it that Japan has declared war on floppy disks (and faxes as well)

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How is it that Japan has declared war on floppy disks (and faxes as well)

Japan has declared war on floppy disks: was the new minister for digital affairs, Taro Kono, CEO announce away Twitter the intention to delete old memory disks, which are still in use expected in at least 1900 procedures of the state administration.

More generally, the Japanese government’s view is to try to get rid of the most obsolete technology: in the viewfinder of the digital agency directed by Kono there are also CDs, minidiscs and the use of faxes. The goal is to de-bureaucratize the activities of the Public Administration for facilitate the work of companies, by moving online the handling of practices, requests and access to state services.

The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, considers the digital transformation of the country a key factor for modern economic development.


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The appointment of Kono, which matured in a reshuffle of the Executive took place in August, responds to the need to accelerate the times of change, assigning the task to an experienced political figure, former Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs, a well-known face of the Liberal Democratic party, known for counter-current positions and strongly oriented towards innovation. To reach the goal of digitalization of the PA, a specific task force has been set up which will have to clarify how to deal with and solve the various problems by the end of 2022.

There isn’t any warrantyhowever, that Kono and his staff will be able to realize their intentions in a short time: even if Japan is a country at the forefront of technology, with one of the most advanced and globally competitive electronics and robotics industries , persist attitudes, practices and rooted traditions that make digital modernization difficult to advance.

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Kono is well aware that, as Minister for Administrative Reform, he had launched one campaign against hanko stamp (required by the administrative procedures for contracts, purchases, certifications, inheritance successions and tax obligations), clashing with the resistance of the bureaucracy, for which seals are an indispensable tool. Faxes were also defended by government office officials against email, camping out for security reasons and the stress of communication that an exclusive use of e-mails could create for those who work in the PA.

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Similarly, floppy disks have found their official defenders: floppy disks are a digital memory medium, manufactured by IBM since the early 1970s of the last century, and abandoned in the 90s by the IT giant. Although replaced by more effective and powerful storage media and techniques, floppies have mostly disappeared from circulation (but in the US, the Department of Defense used it until the 2000s) but they remain a significant figure in the evolution of digital memory. Proof of this is the use of their image as an icon for saving files and documents in various programs, even today.

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