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Japan to say goodbye to hanko stamps and piles of paper by year-end

Government council will outline big changes at Wednesday meeting

Hanko stamps are required for many official documents in Japan, impeding digitization.

TOKYO -- Rules standing in the way of digitizing government in Japan, such as requirements to submit certain forms in person or with hanko stamps, could see their days numbered Wednesday when a key panel announces plans for an end-of-the-year overhaul of administrative rules.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will call for swift changes at the meeting of the Council for Promotion of Regulatory Reform, its first since he took office in September. "Regulatory reform will be at the very center of this government," he has said.

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