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Japan abandons ancient traditions

by on30 January 2024

Ditches floppy disks and CD-ROMs 

Japan is planning to bin floppy disks and CD-ROMs, which until now were needed for sending some official papers to the government. 

In 2022, Digital Affairs Minister Taro Kono told various parts of the government to stop asking businesses to send info on old forms of physical media. The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry (METI) is one of the first to change.

"Under the current law, there are many rules saying the use of specific recording media such as floppy disks for application and notification methods," METI said.  

After this year, METI will no longer ask businesses to send data on floppy disks under 34 rules. The same goes for CD-ROMs for a number of steps. There's still a long way to go before businesses can stop using either format completely.

Kono's team found some 1,900 ways across several government parts that still need the likes of floppy disks, CD-ROMs and even MiniDiscs. The physical media rules even applied to key sectors such as power suppliers, mining firms and plane and weapons makers. There are a few main reasons why there's a push to stop using floppy disks, as SoraNews24 points out. One big factor is that floppy disks are thin on the ground.

Sony, the last big maker, stopped selling them in 2011. Another is that some data types just won't fit on a floppy disk. A single photo can easily be bigger than the format's 1.4MB storage space.


Last modified on 30 January 2024
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