INTERVIEW: Kono Vows to Push Ahead with Administrative Reform

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's administrative reform minister Taro Kono plans to tackle the problem of government employees' long working hours as part of his drive to implement drastic reform measures.

In a recent interview, Kono said he has instructed each government ministry and agency to conduct a survey to find out the number of hours employees spend at their workplace by job type as well as by organization.

The move reflects Kono's eagerness to carry out bold reform steps successively. He has already ordered government ministries and agencies to scrap the traditional use of "hanko" personal seals in administrative procedures, and has said the next step in promoting digitalization is to stop the use of fax machines.

Kono stressed that getting rid of widely used hanko seals, stamped on paper documents for authorization, is not the goal.

"We have to aim for the next step," Kono said. "We're only at the stage where the first runner has just started in a 400-meter relay race."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press