In the eyes of the outside world, Japan is one of the world’s most technologically advanced societies, after the U.S. and China. Inside the country, its government and businesses are still using floppy disks.
Last month’s cabinet reshuffle appointed Taro Kono as a digital minister and a social media-savvy prime ministerial hopeful, and he has declared war on disk storage, whose only relevance in most Western countries has been limited to its digital image as a save icon.
The business community is still required to use floppy discs to submit applications and other forms for about 1,900 government procedures, according to Kono. A standard 3.5-inch floppy disk can usually hold around 1.44MB of storage or around 10 seconds of a 480p video.
Due to Japan’s strict regulations regarding how data is transferred within the government bureaucracy, Kono is trying to retire the 40-year-old technology due to the Internet and cloud storage.
Kono tweeted that the Japanese “Digital Agency will change those regulations so you can use online.”
During a news conference last week, Kono also criticized the country’s continued reliance on outdated technology. “I still plan to get rid of the fax machine,” he said.