Japan declares victory in war on floppy disks

Key Takeaways

  • The Japanese government has finally phased out the use of floppy disks decades after the tech exited its heyday.
  • Over 1,000 laws and regulations had to be rewritten to adapt.
  • Digital Minister Taro Kono announced victory in the war on floppies after a three year effort.

Remember back when Apple, Microsoft and every other major computer company used floppy disks? It’s possible that if you were born in the late 1990s or early 2000s, you might not remember that. In fact, you might have no idea what a floppy disk is.

These days, such obsolete technologies have been phased out almost entirely of everyday life and are now just museum pieces or things people bid on in certain auctions. Unless, of course, you work for the Japanese government. However, that’s about to finally change.


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Japanese government finally moves to phase out floppy disks

Congrats on joining the rest of us

The mac 2 computer

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One of the greatest truisms in bureacracy is that there is no entity that moves slower to adapt and change than the government. And Japan proved that once again, while earning a round of applause from the “better late than never” wing of the internet.

According to Reuters, the Japanese government recently announced that it is finally ending its usage of floppy disks, roughly 20 years after most of the rest of the governments in the civilized world.

Part of the problem is that it wasn’t as simple as administrative aides carrying boxes of floppy disks out to dumpsters in a symbolic sign of the times. Rather, more than 1,000 different government regulations and laws needed to be rewritten or expunged from the record entirely in order to take this step into the 21st century. Thankfully, there is one regulation left in tact as Japan is still making sure there are rules on recycling floppy disks to avoid a repeat of the famed E.T. game cartridge fiasco.


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Japan finished up the task of phasing out floppy disks in mid-June and heralded the achievement which has been three years in the making with an announcement by Digital Minister Taro Kono after accomplishing work that started in 2021.

“We have won the war on floppy disks on June 28!”

Kono’s agency was found three years ago after the Japanese government realized the extent it was relying on paper, fax machines and other antiquated technologies as it continued to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s not entirely clear just what the agency is going to declare war on next. There’s apparently plenty of other machines and pieces of technology that should have been wiped off the face of the earth years ago that have taken refuge — Island of Misfit Toys style — in Japan.

The Digital Agency has also said it wants to make sure the government is no longer leaning so hard on equipment like fax machines. One has to wonder though if it took a full three years to rid itself of floppy disks, should we expect a similar announcement about fax machines sometime in the 2030s?


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