LIVING IN JAPAN

Japan’s Slow Tech Evolution

Digital Minister lifts floppy disk requirements

Edward Thomas
JAPUNDIT
Published in
1 min readJun 17, 2024

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The Japanese government recently announced the elimination of rules requiring the submission of information via floppy disks for certain administrative procedures.

Floppy disks
Source: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Though welcome, this news also highlights the country’s slow adoption of new technologies and busts the myth of Japan as a cutting-edge, high-tech powerhouse.

The Myth of High-Tech Japan

Contrary to popular belief, the pace of technological innovation in Japan is quite sluggish, and many of its bureaucratic systems are decades behind the times. Besides floppy disks, fax machines are still widely used in business and government communication.

“Japan is notorious for clinging to outmoded technology through its office culture.” — BBC

Residents of Japan are well aware of the technological lag.

Everyday experiences, from banking to government services, reveal a reliance on outdated methods and practices.

Digital Minister Taro Kono acknowledged the problem.

“Digitization has made considerable progress. We would like to proceed with necessary reviews, including the use of faxes.”

Looking Forward

The move to eliminate the use of floppy disk is a step in the right direction, but it also highlights how far Japan needs to modernize.

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Edward Thomas
JAPUNDIT

Chicago | Japan since 1969 | Japanese>English translator, editor | Teaches English at Japanese University. | Buy me a ko-fi @ ko-fi.com/edwardthomas