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Coronavirus

Abe to remove biggest obstacle to remote working: seal-stamping

Japanese custom seen hampering target of reducing human contact by 80%

Stamps have carried more weight than hand-written signatures in Japan.

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to overhaul rules that require signatures using traditional seals -- cited as a major obstacle in increasing teleworking and receiving financial aid -- as the government races to meet its target of reducing human contact by 80% to fight the coronavirus, Nikkei has learned.

Abe plans to instruct relevant cabinet ministers at a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on Monday to review procedures that require signatures with a seal -- known as hanko or inkan -- as well as face-to-face interaction.

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