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Japan Finally Ends The Use Of Floppy Disks In Government Offices 20 Years Later

The usage of floppy disks reached its peak in Japanese government buildings and offices in the 2000s.

Cover image via Milan Djordjević (Pexels) & 河野太郎 (X)

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The Japanese government has officially ended the use of floppy disks among civil servants

Floppy disks were first introduced in the 1960s and served as predecessors to discs, USB drives, and modern cloud storage systems.

These thin, square disks were widely used during the 1990s to store and transfer files between computers. Despite their archaic nature, they remained in use within the Japanese government, much to the chagrin of many.

The use of floppy disks peaked in Japanese government buildings and offices 20 years ago and gradually declined with the introduction of faster and more efficient data storage systems.

Japan's Digital Minister Taro Kono played a pivotal role in changing the government's stance on floppy disks, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when he established the Digital Agency

In an attempt to modernise government bureaucracy, Kono served as a vocal critic against using analogue devices to store and transfer data.

He set up the Digital Agency in 2021 at the height of the pandemic as Japan attempted to digitise its healthcare system. Previously, the country relied on traditional paper filing methods to procure medication and vaccines.

"We have won the war on floppy disks on June 28!" he told Reuters, according to the Malay Mail

Image via AP Pic (NST)

Japan has the highest proportion of elderly citizens of any country in the world and this could be one of the reasons for the slow adoption of digital technologies

In 2022, 29.1% of its population was above the age of 65. This figure is expected to increase to one-third of the population by 2050.

With low fertility rates since the 1970s and high life expectancy, Japan's population is not only rapidly ageing but has been shrinking since 2011.

This has put a significant strain on Japan's social security system, including medical care, long-term care, pensions and possibly digital adoption.

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