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Agreement reached on bill to regulate drones

May 12, 2015

Agreement reached on bill to regulate drones

In response to a recent incident in which a drone entered the grounds of the Prime Minister's Office, the Party held a joint meeting of Policy Divisions involved with the regulation of drones on May 12, and reached an agreement on a bill to regulate drone flights. The bill will be submitted to the current Diet session as a legislation introduced by Diet members, and the Party expects its early passage.

The main thrust of the proposed regulations is to prohibit flight over "designated facilities zones," defined as the grounds and areas within a 300-meter radius of "designated facilities," which include the Prime Minister's Office, Diet Building, Supreme Court, and Imperial Palace, among others.

Political parties may also request the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications to designate their offices, and foreign embassies may request designation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The police and other security officials will be empowered to order violators to remove the drones, and if the orders are not followed, may impede flight or destroy the drone if and to the extent that it is necessary. Violators will also be subject to incarceration for up to one year or to fines of up to 500,000 yen.

The Party began studying drone regulation immediately after the incident. At the start of the meeting, Toshihiro Nikai, Chairperson, Comprehensive Research Commission on the Establishment of Disaster Resilient Japan, emphasized, "We must ensure the safety and peace of mind of the people."

Keiji Furuya, Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Drone Flight Regulation, described the progress that had been made by the government on the formulation of rules for safe operations, and said, "We want our work on this bill to mesh and overlap with that of the government."

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