Japan Plans to Get Rid of Hankos, Paperwork, and Fax Machines

Taro Kono, new Administrative Reform Minister, announced that he would put an end to hankos, excessive paperwork, and fax machines in Japan.

September 29, 2020

Popular government official Taro Kono has taken up a new mission as the recently appointed Administrative Reform Minister. On September 28th, Kono announced that he would finally put an end to fax machines, excessive paperwork, and hankos in Japan.

Japan administration is hoping to eliminate the need for hanko in work situations to increase efficiency. Image sourced from

During a media conference, Kono told the press he feels that many administrative procedures don’t really need to be printed out and faxed and that it is simply because a hanko seal is required that these processes continue. Last weekend, he announced to his over 2 million Twitter followers that he will be setting up a hotline to take complaints regarding red tape inefficiencies in the workplace. However, the hotline had to be temporarily shut down the next day due to the thousands of messages he received. 

Taro Kono is adamant to get rid of hankos in businesses. Image sourced from

Some people in Japan strongly oppose getting rid of hanko and see them as an important part of Japanese culture. Still, Kono has stated that he recognizes their cultural importance and only aims to take them out of official administrative procedures. Despite Minister Kono’s resolve, he could have a long road ahead. According to the Information Technology Cooperative, more than 95% of Japan’s businesses still use fax machines today.

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