The Japanese government has been using floppy disks this whole time.
Sony made the world’s last new floppy disks in 2011, but the iconic product’s longevity and reusability have resisted modernization in Japan. According to an article published by Nikkei this weekend, Tokyo city officials are just just now move to phase out disks as the primary method of data storage.
With one public funds manager citing that floppy disks “almost never break or lose data”, many financial institutions in Japan have relied on the medium for areas such as employee payroll information. “Floppy disks can be reused, and the service had plenty of them on hand, giving it little reason to deal with the time and expense of upgrading to new systems,” says Nikkei.
Although Minato Ward moved to digital storage in 2019, several other regions are still struggling to modernize in this area. Chiyoda Ward, for example, plans to completely phase out its floppy disks in time for fiscal year 2026.
A number of other reasons for reluctance – Like Business Intern note, it’s not just the impressive reliability of floppy disks that has kept some areas of the nation’s capital from upgrading. “Despite the country’s ultra-modern image, the Japanese government is struggling to go digital,” says Initiatednoting that city officials have recently opposed attempts to phase out fax machines and physical personal seals for document authentication.
Still used elsewhere — Don’t think that Japan is the only country where floppy fanatics live. Here in the United States, the Boeing aeronautical powerhouse still occasionally uses floppy disks to update the software of their older aircraft, despite all the other kinds of modern frills. In 2019, the Department of Defense had to be practically forced to abandon its floppy disks in favor of solid-state drive storage.