All About Japan

Japan to Abolish Seal-Stamping System

| Life in Japan , Traditional Japan

Japan is looking to do away with its custom of physical seal stamping and come up with a digitized process instead.

Japan is looking to do away with its custom of physical seal stamping and come up with a digitized process instead. The government and four major economic organizations declared Wednesday, July 8, that they will take necessary steps toward that end.

That includes revising legislation to abolish the system requiring hanko or inkan seals on administrative and business documents. The government will ask each ministry and agency to review existing systems by the end of the year. Officials will promote a digitized signature process, with specifics expected by the end of next March. Private companies will also stop requiring seals on documents like contracts and receipts and adopt electronic methods.

The move comes as an increasing number of companies are having employees telework amid the novel coronavirus epidemic. Workers have complained that they have to go to the office just to stamp their seal on documents.