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Only 30% of Municipal Gov'ts Have E-Mail Systems

November 10, 2000 

TOKYO, Nov. 10 (Kyodo) — Less than 30% of Japan's municipal offices are equipped with e-mail systems for their employees, indicating a delay in the introduction of information technology (IT) at local governments, a Home Affairs Ministry survey showed Friday.

All of Japan's 47 prefectural governments are capable of networking and sharing information via e-mail, the survey said. As of April 1, 2,362 out of 3,252 municipalities across Japan had built at least one local area network, or LAN, it said. However, of the 4,898 LAN systems the municipalities have, only 984 have e-mail functions and 821 have a ''bulletin board'' on which users can leave or exchange messages.

Meanwhile, the prefectural governments all have systems allowing officials to send and receive e-mail and use bulletin boards, according to the survey. Nearly 80% of the prefectural governments are equipped with an electronic scheduling system, it said. Almost 100% of prefectural governments and municipal offices deal with taxes, payrolls and various statistics using computers, it said.

A ministry official said the ministry wants to conduct further surveys on the use of the Internet by local governments, the computerization of administrative tasks and employees' abilities to handle IT.

Kyodo News

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