Feb 5, 2016

How advanced is Japan?

How advanced is Japan? photo

How advanced is Japan?

We all might have the idea of a very high-tech country.

This is after all the country of vending machines (5Mio in Japan including ATM)

If you look at only drinks (coffee, milk, beers and so on), you have about 2.5 millions vending machine in Japan.
At the same time, Japan relies a lot on FAX. You get orders from customers by FAX.

You confirm of course the order reception by another FAX.

You send the dispatch order to your warehouse by... yes by FAX.

The warehouse will of course answers that the goods have been dispatched by another FAX.

The customer (end-user) might even confirm to you he received the goods by another FAX.

You might end-up finding all those papers put in large binders and stored in even larger cabinets.

Many exchanges on the topic of "How advanced is Japan" have been done on Quora. You can look at this post: https://www.quora.com/How-advanced-is-Japan

I wrote also a post in general about IT in the workplace in Japan on my blog:


You can see too that EXCEL is the MUST to do word-processing in Japan.

All written above is based on my own experience and might not represent the whole corporate Japan (but still I could experience this more than once...)



20 years experience in Japan. running http://directionjapan.com
French citizen in his forties living in Japan and almost 20 years working for foreign companies in Japan.


  • SalarymanJim

    on Feb 8

    The writer Paul Theroux (not sure I've spelt that right) once said of the Japanese, 'they live in the 19th Century but work in the 21st', or something like that. This was back in the 70s though. I expect he thought they'd have got rid of the fax machine by now. There is a lot of paper copy over here, I find.

  • DirectionJapan

    on Feb 9

    Thanks for the comment. Indeed he might now have foreseen the 21st Century as it is now in Japan. I could go on forever on the cult of the seals and stamping any official document in Japan (on paper of course), the under-usage of internet banking (still need a paper form to change a password..., of course with your seal on it) or the growing usage of Evernote and scanning systems in Japan to store all your unused paper in the cloud!