Get Faxed

On February 15, the Tokyo announced that it had under-reported the number of new corona cases by over 800 in the period from November 18 last year until the end of January. The reason? They explained that the local health centers failed to report these cases, citing failure to fax the reports as one cause. Faxing, mind you, is still a communication method of choice for numerous government offices in Japan.

People familiar with the late (compared to anglophone countries) introduction of email in Japan and the difficulty of transcribing sending Japanese texts should understand why the use of faxing has persisted so long in Japan. I think that the time has come to lay that old technology to rest and replace it with more reliable means that a leave paper (or at least a digital) trail of what has and has not been communicated.

As of this writing, I have not been able to find an English report from NHK about this problem. Perhaps even NHK is embarrassed about the persistence of faxing in this day.