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Business trends

Telework? Japan still wants stamps on the dotted line

Workers brave coronavirus and head to the office to press 'hankos'

The carved hanko seals used in lieu of signatures remain an ingrained part of Japanese corporate culture.

TOKYO -- The Japanese business practice of signing off on documents with a personal seal poses an obstacle in efforts to adopt telecommuting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite efforts to address the problem, only slightly more than 40% of Japanese corporations have digitized contracts even partially, according to a survey on information technology usage released in March by JIPDEC and ITR. Fewer than 30% have configured computer systems or put rules in place to allow for telework.

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