Despite spending ¥47 million on a nutritional planning software, the MSDF now has a buggy pile of junk code and no effective means to manage nutrion aboard its ships

Despite spending ¥47 million on a nutritional planning software, the MSDF now has a buggy pile of junk code and no effective means to manage nutrion aboard its ships (Source: MoD)

One year ago, the Maritime Self-Defense Force brought into service a piece of software designed to smooth out the difficult task of drawing up meal plans to suit hundreds of on-base personnel three times daily, 365 days a year as well as the difficult task of meeting the nutritional requirements of crew aboard MSDF ships. With development costs of around ¥47 million, you would be forgiven for imagining that they are making the most of the software – however, as Mainichi Shimbun reports, the software has rarely been put to use since it was installed in May 2010.

An investigation by the Board of Audit discovered that a bug in the software caused the window to disappear from the screen rendering it unusable. Investigators examined use of the software from 2010 to June 2011, also discovering that the software’s printer function was buggy too, forcing all the MSDF’s units and institutions to abandon it, or simply use the small portions of the software unaffected by the shoddy programming. These units and institutions have instead apparently turned back to either the old software (which was solely in use on bases), or have created spreadsheets in commercial alternatives.

I wonder what will happen to the civilian development house that was contracted to create this complete and utter failure…

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch