Japan opens Digital Agency to boost government technology

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is aiming to give a technological upgrade to government services and recordkeeping with the opening of the Digital Agency to overhaul antiquated systems that have had their shortfalls highlighted by the pandemic. Japan’s reliance on old-fashioned paperwork and faxed data delayed financial subsidies and support for people during the pandemic and slowed the sharing of medical data about COVID-19 patients and vaccinations. It also hampered schools when they switched to online learning. The new agency has about 600 workers and aims to digitalize administrative procedures in 31 areas and standardize systems used by municipalities within five years.