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  • Voltaire Staff

Japan phases out floppy discs

Japan has finally eliminated floppy disks in all its systems, a long-awaited breakthrough in a campaign to modernise the country's bureaucracy.

By the middle of last month, the country's Digital Agency had removed all 1,034 regulations governing their use, except one related to vehicle recycling (environmental stricture).

"We have won the war on floppy disks on June 28!" Taro Kono, Japan's Digital Minister and a charismatic figure with 2.5 million followers on X, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Kono, who waged a "war" against fax machines and other analog technology in the government, had in 2022 posted on X: "There are about 1900 government procedures that requires business community to use discs, i. e. floppy disc, CD, MD, etc to submit applications and other forms. Digital Agency is to change those regulations so you can use online."

During the COVID Pandemic in 2021, it was revealed that the Japanese government still relied on paper filling and outdated technology while conducting nationwide testing. Thus, a Digital Agency was formed with an aim to phase out floppy disks by 2026.  

Certain industries, such as aerospace, older airplanes, medical equipment, and computerised embroidery machines, still rely on floppy disks for various functions.

Sony, its last manufacturer, ceased production of floppy discs in 2011.

Japan, despite its global tech leadership, maintains an unusual connection with legacy tech, evident in its continued use of cash-only payments and fax machines, showing a slower embrace of the modern digital economy.

Image Source: Unsplash


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