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A government council on Thursday submitted to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposals that the government fully review its administrative procedures requiring paper documents, seal stamping and in-person meetings.

In its proposals, the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council urged the government to promote change at a time when the spread of the novel coronavirus has prompted the need for social distancing.

Based on the proposals, the government will work out an action plan for regulatory reforms. The plan will be adopted by the Cabinet together with the government’s new economic and fiscal policy guidelines to be released this month.

“Looking at the post-COVID future, we’ll implement necessary regulatory reforms intensively so that new technologies can be used thoroughly,” Abe said.

In the proposals, the council said that the coronavirus crisis laid bare how vulnerable the country’s outdated administrative management style is to emergency.

The proposal called for increasing the use of email, web-based application filings and other online procedures and scrapping the practice of requiring seals unless absolutely necessary.

The council also said the government should ask commercial financial institutions to shift to full electronic procedures for account-opening and loan applications that do not require paper forms or seal stamping.

The council, headed by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. Chairman Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, submitted proposals to the government for the first time since it became a permanent body in October last year.

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