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Japan’s Love Affair with the Fax Machine

In case you were wondering if people still use the fax machine, and why in the world they still use it in the first place, look no more for your answer. Many businesses and households in Japan still use traditional fax as a method of mainstream communication. Nearly 100% of businesses in Japan and 60 % of private homes have fax machines, reported the Washington Post. In the past year alone over 1.7 million traditional fax machines were purchased in Japan. The Japanese still send party invitations, shopping orders and bank statements. They often prefer to use fax instead of email.

But why the fascination with this ancient machine?

Well the biggest attraction to faxing is that it there can be a paper trail of shipments and orders. A lot of people in simply don’t trust the security of electronic communication in their country. It is so unshakeable that even gang members still tell off their enemies via fax.

Companies have tried to modernise the way they communicate but they say customers are still resistant to change, if they don’t have fax details, sales drop significantly. It is easier for customers who have very detailed orders to explain and detail their orders via fax than it is through any other means.

Fax has been a trusted means of communication for over 160 years in the business world. It was invented in 1843 by Scottish inventor, Alexander Bain. Today we are able to fax without having to be connected to an actual fax machine or telephone line through fax to email, but traditional fax still has its place in society.