Japan’s digital minister, who’s vowed to rid the bureaucracy of outdated tools from the hanko stamp to the fax machine, has now declared “war” on a technology many haven’t seen for decades — the floppy disk.
The hand-sized, square-shaped data storage item, along with similar devices including the CD or even lesser-known mini disk, are still required for some 1,900 government procedures and must go, digital minister Taro Kono wrote in a Twitter post Wednesday.
“We will be reviewing these practices swiftly,” Kono said in a press conference Tuesday, who added that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has offered his full support. “Where does one even buy a floppy disk these days?”
Japan isn’t the only nation that has struggled to phase out the outdated technology — the US Defense Department only announced in 2019 that it has ended the use of floppy disks, which were first developed in the 1960s, in a control system for its nuclear arsenal.
Sony Group Corp. stopped making the disks in 2011 and many young people would struggle to describe how to use one or even identify one in the modern workplace.
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