Japanese computers may go haywire when the emperor abdicates next year | AI

Tokyo by night

When the new era begins, Japan’s tech could malfunction

Naomi Aoki/Getty

Japan has an impending millennium bug problem. In the lead up to the turn of the millennium, few computers were able to properly represent the year 2000, leaving people worried about what would happen when midnight on New Year’s eve struck. Now the same issues could arise in Japan when the current emperor steps down in April next year.

The calendar is based on era names that coincide with the rule of its emperors. We’ve been in the Heisei or “peace everywhere” era since …

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