Japan declares ‘war’ with outdated technology, including floppy disk | Science & Technology News

A Japanese minister has declared a “war” on outdated technology, including floppy disks, in a determined attempt to drag the government into the digital age.

Nearly 2,000 government procedures still rely on the business community using outdated storage devices.

Digital Affairs Minister Taro Kono said existing regulations will be updated to allow people to use online services.

He also hopes to eliminate the use of outdated technology such as CDs and MiniDiscs.

“We will quickly review these activities,” Mr. Kono told a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.

The minister said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gave his full support, according to reports in Japan.

“Where do people even buy floppy disks these days?” Mr. Kono joked.

He also vowed to eliminate fax machines in his speech.

He then tweeted: “There are about 1,900 required government formalities [the] The business community uses discs, i.e. floppy disks, CDs, MDs, to file applications and other forms.

“(The) Digital Authority is to change those rules so you can use it online.”

A committee found about 1,900 pieces of legislation, government, and ministry that specify that specific storage devices, including floppy disks, are used to create data management and retention applications, sheets Japan Times reported.

The government is considering removing this requirement to reduce bureaucracy.

Mr. Kono said any objections from ministers or agencies would be “push down”.

Japan's Digital Minister Taro Kono Photo: AP
Japan’s Minister of Digital Affairs Taro Kono Photo: AP

Japanese tech giant Sony stopped making floppy disks after 30 years in 2011.

But their legacy continues, with the square device still commonly used as the “save icon”.

Just six years ago, it was revealed a system used to control some American ballistic missiles and nuclear bombers run from a 40-year-old computer using floppy disks..

An upgrade to a secure digital alternative will be completed in 2017 to “address concerns of obsolescence,” a Pentagon spokesman said.

“The system is still in use because, in short, it still works,” said Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson.

Meanwhile, Andy Warhol’s original artwork was found on a floppy disk in 2014 after being missing for three decades.

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