The Japanese government has declared “war” on a technology that has been considered obsolete for many years: floppy disks and their “relatives” such as CDs. The data storage system, which was widespread until the beginning of the 21st century, is still part of everyday administrative life in the country and is required for at least 1,900 official procedures.
In a post on Twitter yesterday, Digital Minister Taro Kono announced the “fight.” “Minister of Digital declares war on floppy disks. There are approximately 1,900 government procedures that require the business community to use diskettes such as floppy disks, CDs, MDs, etc. to submit applications and other forms. The digital agency is changing these regulations so you can do them online,” he said.
The digital minister is declaring war on diskettes.
There are approximately 1900 government procedures that require the business community to use data media ie floppy disks, CDs, MDs, etc. to submit applications and other forms. The digital agency aims to change these regulations so that you can use them online.
KONO Taro (@konotaromp) August 31, 2022
According to US website Bloomberg, the minister held a press conference yesterday, in which he said the review of the practices would be carried out “in a timely manner” and that the country’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, fully supported the changes. “Where do you buy a floppy disk these days?” he asked.
According to the government, there are still some legal hurdles for the transition to more modern technology. The transition group will review the plans to announce opportunities for improvement by the end of the year.
Kono of the Liberal Democratic Party has been a vocal critic of the country’s bureaucratic inefficiency, as the government still uses archaic practices like fax machines and hanko, a red stamp to sign official documents. When he was Minister for Administrative Reform between 2020 and 2021, he tried to curb the use of both articles. However, the attempt bore no fruit, and both are still widely used in the country.
“I want to get rid of the fax machine and I still plan to,” he joked at a press conference.
Although it may seem unusual, it’s not just Japan that has retained the floppy disk as an essential element of administrative activity. The US Department of Defense only announced in 2019 that it had ended the use of the stored goods internally. They were used in a nuclear arsenal control system. It is worth noting that floppy disks were no longer manufactured in 2011.