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Japan's analog government struggles to accept anything online

Under 10% of applications are digital, while neighbor South Korea zooms ahead

Japanese residents still need to go to local municipal offices, like city hall in Utsunomiya pictured here, to submit paperwork. (Photo by Naoyuki Kozuki)

TOKYO -- Japan's coronavirus response and economic activities as a whole have suffered because only a small fraction of government applications and forms have been migrated online, despite a decades-old push to turn the country into a digital pioneer.

There are more than 55,000 administrative procedures Japan's national government is involved in. But just over 4,000, or 7.5%, can be completed entirely online, according to a recent study the Japan Research Institute.

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