NHK reported that as part of measures to digitize administrative services, Administrative Reform Minister Kono told the press today that he asked all ministries and agencies to reconsider the requirement for documents to be stamped with hanko seals. He reportedly said: “I am planning to continue to call for eliminating the use of seals in all administrative procedures for which such use has no legitimate reason. Even if there are sections on documents that call for seals, people should not be required to stamp them. I want Digital Reform Minister Hirai to think about making these procedures available online.” Kono went on to say that as the next step he wants the government to allow administrative documents to be submitted online rather than as hard copies. According to the Cabinet Office, there are currently about 11,000 types of administrative procedures that require seals. The network said that in response to Kono’s call, many ministers expressed their willingness to digitize administrative procedures, including Environment Minister Koizumi, who told the press today that such documents as applications for childcare leave will no longer require seals starting today.