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Business trends

Japanese companies graduate from 'hanko' stamps era

Whisky titan Suntory and social media app Line shift to electronic signatures

Should Japanese businesses and people continue using their corporate and personal stamps, or should the things be put in museums? (Nikkei Montage)

TOKYO -- The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is upending a Japanese business tradition that goes back more than 100 years -- hand-stamping documents to authenticate them.

Not even the government appears to want to safeguard the tradition. On Friday it issued guidelines essentially saying carved hanko or inkan seals are not necessary when concluding contracts.

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