Y2K bug to take bite out of Japan tomorrow

New financial year could herald big problems

The millennium bug could hit Japan tomorrow because most Japanese companies start their financial year on 1 April. While the rest of us have nine-months’ breathing space, many older PCs in Japan may read 1 April 2000 as the year 1900. Tomorrow’s deadline may see the collapse of many computer systems, Professor Shumpei Kumon of the International University of Japan, has warned in today’s Financial Times. A Gartner Group report last month said Japan had underestimated the year 2000 problem. The study ranked Japan alongside Armenia, Guatemala and North Korea. This insult prompted the Japanese government to show data proving the nation’s readiness. An updated report from Gartner has since moved them into line with other industrialised economies. However, analysts remained sceptical about the validity of the Japanese government’s figures. Data was filtered by industry agencies and few companies in Japan have disclosed efforts or spending on the problem, according to today’s article. ®

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