'Hanko' to be abolished for all but 83 kinds of official documents


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Just start using Kao (花押) again. Much nicer.

Best wishes,

The Bakufu

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this not an anti-mafia and anti-money fraud protection ? Japan doesn't had identity cards in my memory. I didn't checked for change for a long time. Was there a change ?



0 ( +0 / -0 )

With a hanko, it's either a match or no match.

And if your name is Suzuki, or Nakamura, or Honda, or hundreds of other common names, anyone can go over to Daiso and get a match for your hanko.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese people have no signature ? Is it that hard to start using one ?

Oh. They have signature lines on forms. But, it is for you to print your name.

I remember the first time I signed my name on the signature line of some form, and they made me re-do it, printing in block letters.

Now, I always ask before "signing". But, they always want printing, not the western concept of signing. That is, until the other day, when I applied for a new MyNa card after my old one expired. (I never got the letter!) They actually wanted a signature. A real, honest-to-goodness signature. I was pleasantly surprised.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just 83? Well, some might call that progress....

1 ( +1 / -0 )


2 hours????? Your paperwork must have not been in order. I moved last year and had to do the same thing and was in and out in 30 mins. This week I had to go to register my new motorbike , large engine , which requires more paperwork than middle size or small bikes. Arrived at 10am , had a new license plate in no time. Yeah, Japanese beaurocracy can be tedious but if your paperwork is 100 percent correct, it goes smoothly. I run a small business with 8 employees and have had a hanko for years. If I didn't have a hanko, I would not have been able to apply as easily for a business development loan or get a contract to rent bigger premises. It's a pain sometimes when I can't remember where I left it but it isn't a huge bother for me. Telecommuting ? Yep, I can see it being a real pain.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

With a hanko, it's either a match or no match.

True, but it’s the uniqueness of signatures that is the advantage. Being able to sign in front of someone who can then check against currently held records is more secure than just pulling out a stamp. Not that people actually check records though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese people have no signature ? Is it that hard to start using one?

First, if we are talking the traditional written signature, how is that going to take the manualness out versus using a hanko?

Second, hanko does have advantages over signatures. They are absolutely the same each time, while a signature will always have variation, especially if you are like me with very clumsy hands - sure all my signatures look like mine but if we are honest the first signature and the second signature do not match up that well. So whoever is accepting your signature has to decide how much discretion to give you, and sometimes that discretion is so large (I know how much my signatures don't match) I wonder if there is even a point.

With a hanko, it's either a match or no match.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So every day things will still need a hanko.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Do the hustle

Most Japanese do not have a signature due to relying on the hanko system for so long. This is going to result in 15,000 official documents signed with an X.

Credit Card

3 ( +3 / -0 )

abolished for all but 83 kinds of official documents

wow...........they STILL can't let it go.

Just end it. Cold turkey. NSA.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh, about 100 years late.

Hanko’s and the idea of it causes such paper work inefficiency at government agencies, schooling and workplace.

Change in Japan is slow at best, archaic at its worst. It’s an extremely stubborn society, in certain aspects.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In Japan, archaic also means keeping some jobs and employment.

Suppressing all useless papers and tasks could be done quickly if wanted, but I am quite sure the slow change is done not to hurt employment in public offices, resulting in more jobless. Part of the Japanese harmony

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The use of the hanko ensures reams and reams of paper that have to be filed, sorted and stored and all of that creates thousands of useless jobs...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A Japanese friend of mine had forgotten to bring his hanko to city hall, so he ran around the corner to buy another. "Tanaka" is not a difficult name to secure; we foreigners face more difficulties.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hanko required for automobile registration - and the other 82 forms requiring one are?

Giving with the one hand and taking with the other...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have a Hanko but I never use it. I just scribble my name over the place where you have to stamp it. It’s met with child-like confusion and a “chotto...” while looking around for another drone who might know what to do. then I tell them I don’t have one and that this is the same thing.

In every single instance they accept the document. Shows how much people at the counters care.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There is no point in partially abolishing the hanko. None. “ radical switch” ? You must be kidding. Still need that thing to buy a car ? Which reminds me of that even more stupid requirement of a “ parking “ certificate before they let you buy a car. Who buys a car if you have no place to park it.

As long as I need the hanko for even one procedure nothing has changed and I still need one, with that needless certificate, only valid for a couple of months.

“ virtual “ hanko ? Even worse. That does not prove nor certify anything and abuse of that system would be rampant.

Japanese people have no signature ? Is it that hard to start using one ?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Most Japanese do not have a signature due to relying on the hanko system for so long. This is going to result in 15,000 official documents signed with an X.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You can’t spur economic growth by just abolishing hanko. Stop meddling with frivolous matters and get down to work. Do what’s necessary to revive Japan’s moribund economy.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Government is one thing, business is something different. It's going to be a long time before people get used to the changes!

It is also going to piss off a bunch of people when they think they dont need one, dont bring it, and then are forced to go back home to get it!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The use of seals will be abolished for all but 83 instances...

So in other words... IT WON'T BE ABOLISHED. Some massive Jiji can be heard in a back room somewhere in Japan reading this story in Japanese, sucking air in through his teeth and uttering "mendokusai".

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Just a few days ago, I had to go to my city office, just to register again my adress for my son new elementary school.

I had to fill out 5 different documents at 3 different counters. And all documents required the same information.

And of course each document requires also my Hanko.

I stayed more than 2 hours in that office just to register my address for my son school.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I will be sad to see them go, but the fact is that Japan lags well behind most of the developed world when it comes to digital technology.

Having moved here from Australian little more than a year, I can say that most bureaucratic and official procedures are almost comically archaic here; in a great many instances, procedures are still used here that were abandoned 20 years ago in Australia. The use of Hanko exacerbates the difficulties.

There has to be a change, although I think that one Hanko-maker's idea of creating digital Hanko is a good compromise.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

There must be more than 890 hanko makers. I see two or three on short walks around town. I suspect the AJSIA represents only major corporations and not the solo craftsman toiling away in his small shop?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Does this mean no more obligatory office stamp rallies? I have nothing against hanko, but they do slow things down a bit.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I'll bet the document announcing this had a hanko . . .

24 ( +24 / -0 )

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