Back in 2011, Sony announced the end of production of 3.5-inch floppy disks, which have been used as inexpensive storage media for document management for decades. According to reports, Japanese authorities recently removed from the language of Japanese law the requirement that citizens and organizations provide files on the same disks when interacting with authorities The registry with reference to local media.
Minister Taro Kono, who is reforming this bureaucratic system, has been pushing for these changes in the law since the year before last, and now Japanese citizens and organizations submitting various types of applications are no longer required to provide electronic copies of documents on physical media of any kind, be it Floppy disks or optical disks. Files can be sent to cloud storage via electronic communication channels, bypassing the transfer of physical media to officials.
For Japan, which even before the pandemic did not recognize digital signatures in many areas of document management, abandoning the use of floppy disks is a major step forward, although it cannot be argued that such conservatism is unique to this country. It was only in 2019 that the US Department of Defense stopped using outdated 8-inch floppy disks, even though they had not been manufactured by the industry for decades. New 3.5-inch floppy disks are still on sale; they are sold from old stocks, and some companies even specialize in supplying such products. These media can be used in industrial and medical devices as well as musical instruments, so demand will remain but will steadily decline.