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Blockchain greases trade wheels between 7 Asian-Pacific economies

TradeWaltz aims to keep supply chains of 5,000 companies moving at steady pace

Japan takes 36 times longer to process trade paperwork than France or Italy, the World Bank reports.

TOKYO -- One of lessons the coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp relief is the need for contingency plans. Whether it's relying too much on one country for crucial medical supplies, a sudden closure of borders and shipping routes or an impromptu trade war, businesses must being able to adapt quickly.

That has not been one of Japan's strong suits as it remained bogged down in the tradition of paperwork -- and lots of it, costing companies precious time and hundreds of billions of yen.

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