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Explainer: Japan is still stuck on floppy disk and fax machine, you will be surprised to know the reason

Highlights

Floppy disk is used to store data of more than 1900 government works.
Japan is 20 years behind the world in terms of administrative technology.
Japanese officials are very sensitive about personal and government data.

New Delhi. In the whole world, Japan is considered as Sirmaur in terms of technology. But, you will be surprised to know that in this era of e-mail, fax is still the most used for the exchange of messages in Japan. The first choice of the people of Japan for data storage are the floppy disks that were out of trend in the world many years ago.

The use of storage devices, such as CDs and mini-disks, is still common in Japan to store data for more than 1,900 government functions. In Japan, the Hanko seal is still widely used in place of a digital signature. Now to get rid of outdated technologies and machines, now Japan’s Minister of Digital Affairs Taro Kono has declared war on the floppy disk.

24% still use fax daily
According to a report in Live Mint, Japanese economist Yukio Noguchi told Bloomberg that Japan is 20 years behind the world in terms of administrative technology. A survey conducted in 2021 revealed that 24.03 percent of Japanese said they use fax machines daily. At the same time, 25.4 percent admitted that they use it occasionally. The survey also revealed a surprising fact that IT engineers also use fax machines for reporting and communication.

Why love old technologies?
Japan, which has given technology like bullet train to QR code to the world, still has many reasons for the use of old technologies. According to a McKenzie report, keeping culture and traditions paramount, risk aversion mindset, prioritizing longevity over productivity of the company and Japanese industries are less vulnerable to global challenges are the main reasons. Another reason why the old technologies are still in vogue is that the private sector of the government and the private sector look to the government for the initiative to remove these technologies in Japan. Meaning no one is taking the initiative and these techniques remain in vogue.

shortage of engineers
In Japan, if you remove outdated technologies like fax machines and floppies and new technology is implemented, then many software will need to be created for everyday tasks. For this work, Japan will need a whole army of software engineers. At present, Japan has a shortage of about 5 lakh software engineers to do this work.

software making
Software manufacturing in Japan is classified as a non-material investment in a government account. This means that the funds for making the software can be drawn from debt covering bonds. Their approval is much more difficult than construction bonds to build roads and bridges.

important role of age
Japan is a country of older people. These people are sitting on old technology with too much heart. At the same time, these people also keep some jealousy about the new technology. This belief, which grew in the bureaucracy in Japan, is also an obstacle in the way of new technologies that when a technology is working well for 20 years, then why will it not work well for the next 20 years.

hypersensitivity to security
Japanese officials are very sensitive about personal and government data. Japanese government officials believe that data in floppy is more secure than today’s modern technologies. That’s why they don’t even use email in government work. Confidential government documents are saved on floppy disk only.

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