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Floppy disks are lastly on the best way out in Japan … possibly

Japan could be a pacesetter in innovation and expertise, however this week a distinguished authorities determine revealed the way it generally likes to carry on to previous applied sciences, too.

Days after taking on his position because the nation’s Minister of Digital Affairs, Taro Kono tweeted: “Digital Minister declares a war on floppy discs.”

That’s proper, floppy disks, these data-holding plastic objects that our nice grandparents used to stay into computer systems. Though in Japan, some people nonetheless do.

Kono mentioned there are “about 1900 government procedures” that contain members of the enterprise neighborhood having to make use of some sort of disk, together with the floppy sort.

Digital Minister declares a conflict on floppy discs.
There are about 1900 authorities procedures that requires enterprise neighborhood to make use of discs, i. e. floppy disc, CD, MD, and so forth to submit purposes and different types. Digital Agency is to vary these rules so you need to use on-line.

— KONO Taro (@konotaromp) August 31, 2022

In a daring bid to take authorities work into the twenty first century — 22 years after it arrived and 11 years after Sony manufactured the final floppy disk — Kono mentioned he desires to lastly exchange the storage medium and do the whole lot on-line as an alternative.

It’s not the primary time that Kono has gone on the offensive in opposition to previous tech. Speaking final 12 months in his earlier position as administrative reform minister, he made clear his want to rid authorities departments of fax machines, suggesting e-mail may be a greater strategy to talk. But some authorities departments pushed again, arguing that fax machines have been safer than on-line communication.

Kono’s feedback adopted criticism early on within the pandemic in 2020 when medical doctors complained about having to handwrite paperwork on new COVID circumstances earlier than faxing the data to public well being facilities as a part of the info assortment course of. An on-line reporting system was ultimately launched in August 2020.

But maybe we shouldn’t be too harsh on Japan. After all, it was solely three years in the past that the U.S. navy lastly ditched a Seventies-era system that used floppy disks for the operational capabilities of the nation’s nuclear forces, changing them with a solid-state digital storage answer.

Kono’s conflict on floppy disks brings to thoughts one other episode in 2018 when, a month after being appointed as Japan’s cyber-security minister, Yoshitaka Sakurada brazenly admitted that he’d by no means used a pc.

“Since I was 25 years old and independent I have instructed my staff and secretaries,” he mentioned on the time, including: “I have never used a computer in my life.”

Sakurada is now not in submit.

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