HomeTECHNOLOGYJapan wants to leave floppy disks behind (finally) • ENTER.CO

Japan wants to leave floppy disks behind (finally) • ENTER.CO

I still remember floppy disks, those square sheets of resistant material that did the job that the cloud or USB do today. Of course, at that time, if you wanted to pass a program or a long document, you needed several diskettes and you walked around with several diskettes under your arm. It seems that we are talking about at least 20 years ago, but to your surprise, Japan still uses them.

Although Japan is known for being one of the meccas of technology and innovation, this week, we learned that they also cling to old technologies. The nation’s Digital Affairs Minister, Taro Kono revealed in a trill that: “The Digital Minister declares war on floppy disks.” According to Kono, there are at least “1,900 government procedures,” including some from the business sector, that still use some form of disk, including the floppy disk.

Now Kono, 11 years after Sony made the last floppy, finally wants to let them die. To do this, he wants to make use of new technologies, going from storing information on floppy disks to taking everything online (the cloud). But this is not the first time that the Digital Minister aims to do away with floppy disks. Last year, when he was in office as Minister of Administrative Reform, he made it clear that it was time to give a (true) welcome to new technologies.

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Put this way, the then Minister of Administrative Reform argued that he wanted to separate government offices from machines like the fax machine, suggesting that e-mail is a good alternative. At the time, some government departments refused to give up the fax, arguing that it allows for more secure communication than we have via the Internet. But, Kono did not give up and at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, he took advantage of the complaints of the doctors, who had to do all the paperwork regarding COVID cases by hand, so that it could be sent via fax to the public health centers. But, thanks to Kono and the medical staff, an online reporting system was introduced in August 2020.

This new scenario takes us back to 2018, when the then Japanese security minister, Yoshitaka Sakurada, admitted that he had never used a computer. Now, we have to wait if Taro Kono’s new attempt will finally have the expected results. If so, all government processes, including those related to the business sector, will eventually move online.

Image: Pexels

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