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In Japan, couples will soon be able to apply for marriage licenses online

Tokyo, Japan - Japan is considered a very tech-savvy country, but some documents still require official stamps. Marriage and divorce registration can be especially complicated because even the witnesses need personalized seals. The pandemic proved how outdated these requirements are.

Would you want to register to get married online (stock image)?
Would you want to register to get married online (stock image)?  © Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa

Japan is planning to digitalize the bureaucracy of marriage and divorce. Minister of Justice  Kamikawa Yoko told Japanese media on Friday the government is reviewing the need for official stamps. 

Japan's traditional personal seals – called hanko – proved to be a major obstacle during the coronavirus crisis, both for state bureaucracy and for companies. 

Despite its reputation as a high-tech nation, Japan lags behind other countries in digitalization. In the midst of the pandemic, the world's third-largest economy is looking to rectify that. 

The government wants to increase efficiency in ministries and public services and to this end is planning to set up a uniform computer network, as the leading business newspaper Nikkei recently reported. 

Until now, the ministries and authorities each had their own LAN networks with different security standards. To make video conferences with other authorities or private companies easier, individual networks will be phased out over the next years.

According to economists, Japan is now in the process of making a giant leap towards digitalization and new modes of work.

Cover photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa

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