Administrative reform minister Taro Kono’s push to rid central government offices of their entrenched fax culture has hit a snag after being met with fierce resistance from bureaucrats who insist it needs to be preserved for security and other reasons.

A crusade against the fax — an old-fashioned method of communication that remains pervasive in many corners of Japanese society — has been one of Kono’s most symbolic gestures as a buster of red tape.

In June, the Headquarters for the Promotion of Administrative Reform issued notices to all central ministries, including their affiliated agencies, to stop using fax by the end of that month, and asked them to report back if there were reasons they would be unable to implement the shift.