]]]]]]  EMPEROR HIROHITO'S DEATH CAUSES SOFTWARE PROBLEMS   [[[[[[ 
                                                       (1/18/1989)
[From  Pavan Sahgal,  ``Automation at  the "Big  Four" Securities
Firms'', Wall Street Computer Review, January 1989, p. 23]

              [Kindly uploaded by Freeman 10602PANC]

   Under  Japanese custom,  when a  new  emperor is  crowned, his
reign or era is marked by a  title that appears on all records in
the country.  [Hirohito's era was called Showa, or peace.]
   [E]xecutives   at  Tokyo's   leading  securities   firms  were
chagrined  to discover  that the  computer programmers  who wrote
accounting, recordkeeping  and customer  billing systems software
in  recent  years  created  inflexible  systems.   They  did  not
envisage that  someday Japan  would have  a new  emperor, and his
reign would  mark the  start of a  new era  requiring records and
statements to reflect that.
  The dilemma is comparable to  having a system that won't change
from 1988 to  1989.  The programmers  had overlooked an essential
detail  that obviously  has widespread  fundamental implications.
Even worse, a new  generation was sadly out  of touch with custom
and  the  saying, Koin  ya  no-goto she [acute  accent over e] (A
lifetime goes like an arrow).

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