Japan, the government is preparing to say goodbye to CD-Roms and floppies

Japan, the government is preparing to say goodbye to CD-Roms and floppies


The Japanese government has decided to officially abandon the use of CD-Roms and floppy disks. It seems absurd, but so far Japan's public agencies have used these two now obsolete multimedia supports to send data from one office to another.

It seems that 2022 therefore marks the moment in which they will come abandon these methods of storing and transmitting data, perhaps moving to something a little more modern, such as email and cloud storage.

As reported by Nikkei, the Japanese minister of digital affairs, Taro Kono, he commented: “Nowadays, where can you buy floppy disks? We will change [the rules] as appropriate.

Some aircraft still exploit floppy avionics software If this seems paradoxical to you, consider that, at the moment, Japanese laws contain 1,900 provisions requiring the use of obsolete storage devices, such as diskettes 3.5 inch and CD-ROM. The digital transition will help Japanese government agencies be more efficient by adopting fast (and current!) Tools for transferring data over the Internet.| ); } However, given the proverbial Japanese meticulousness in respecting protocols, procedures and regulations, a real task force has been set up, which has the task of revising the regulations issued decades ago.

The use of floppy disks in 2022, however, is not as unusual as we might imagine: in some sectors they are still in use today. For example, some Boeing 747-400 aircraft use 3.5-inch diskettes for avionics software. In addition, some military equipment (especially in the nuclear field) even use 8-inch disks (the flexible ones, hence the name "floppy disk") and punch cards.

Japan’s Minister of Digital Affairs declares 'war' on obsolete floppy disks

Taro Kono, Japan’s newly appointed Minister of Digital Affairs, has received the full support of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in his declaration of ‘war’ against outdated storage mediums plaguing Japanese government offices.

Kono declared his ‘war’ on obsolete technology in a tweet on Wednesday, naming other outdated storage mediums such as floppy disks and CDs.

“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,” Kono wrote. “Digital Agency is to change those regulations so you can use online.”

At the government’s digital task force presentation on Tuesday, the group noted legal hurdles as one of the reasons behind struggling to adapt to modern technologies such as cloud storage. As part of its initiative to upgrade government technology, the task force will reportedly review the provisions with the announcement set to happen by the end of the year.

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Kono, an outspoken critic of old-fashioned practices in bureaucracy, has tried to stop the use of fax machines and hanko, a unique red stamp used to sign official documents like marriage certificates, when he was Japan’s administrative reform minister between 2020 and 2021. Despite his efforts, fax machines and hanko are still being used today.

“I’m looking to get rid of the fax machine, and I still plan to do that,” Kono, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who voters have regarded as a contender to be a prime minister, said at the press conference on Tuesday.

The first floppy disks were introduced by the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in 1971 as eight-inch disks. The storage medium shrunk in size over time to become the 3.5-inch disks commonly used in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Sony, which is reportedly the last company to manufacture floppy disks, announced in April 2010 that they would stop producing the storage medium in March 2011.

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“Where does one even buy a floppy disk these days?' Kono told reporters. “We will change [these rules] promptly.'

In December, Tokyo police reportedly lost two floppy disks containing the personal information of 38 people who had applied for public housing in Tokyo's Meguro Ward.

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