The Japanese government has finally decided to abandon the use of floppy disks and CD-ROMs for receiving certain types of requests from public agencies. The change was confirmed in a measure published on January 22, corroborating plans to modernize the system that have gained strength in recent years.
According to the announcement made by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), 34 ordinances relating to the use of physical media when sending official documents were amended, eliminating the requirement. The decision affects sectors such as energy, mining and weapons manufacturing.
Very popular in the 1990s, floppy disks do not have the capacity to store a photo taken with a cell phone.Source: Getty Images/Reproduction
Before this most recent measure, approximately 1,900 procedures carried out at government agencies in Japan required documents and requests sent to such entities to be submitted using the old storage devices. The obligation was valid for both individuals and companies.
If a Japanese citizen needed to perform a service in a body with this requirement, for example, should submit documents related to the demand on physical media. This is a similar situation to the sending of Income Tax declarations on diskettes that was offered in Brazil for some years.
Change shouldn't be so fast
Despite METI's determination to replace obsolete devices with more efficient methods of storing and transferring data, some services offered by Japanese administration bodies were left out of the measure. Local governments and the Ministry of Justice are among the entities resisting the change, according to local press.
That way, It is possible that the transition to cloud storage and other more modern and secure solutions will take some time to complete. It is worth remembering that the availability of old floppy disks is no longer as great, since Sony, the last major manufacturer in the segment, stopped producing them in 2011.
In addition to organs from Japan, small disks with a capacity of 1.44 MB are currently used in different industries, such as areas of medicine, embroidery, aircraft manufacturing and plastic molding. The United States Air Force also relied on them until 2019, when it stopped using them in a bomb launch control system.