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Japan investors swoop for 'digital hanko' stocks

Government wants to scrap almost 15,000 procedures that require a seal

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga wants to digitize administrative processes.

TOKYO -- Retail investors in Japan have snapped up shares in companies providing digital authentication of documents, betting that the country will make progress in updating age-old business practices for an online era.

Japan's House of Representatives passed a bill in a plenary session on Tuesday that will abolish the use of "hanko," or seals, in administrative procedures. A so-called "digital hanko" could be used instead.

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