The city of Chiba is set to start testing delivery services using drones after it was designated as a special deregulation zone by the government.
U.S. online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. is expected to join the test project, sources said.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Council on National Strategic Special Zones, chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the government also designated as special zones Hiroshima Prefecture, the city of Imabari in Ehime Prefecture, and the city of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Hiroshima Prefecture and Imabari will join a private sector-led project to construct michi no eki roadside rest areas. Imabari will also work to establish a global base for veterinarians. Kitakyushu will promote job creation for elderly people.
The council also approved a project in the Tokyo metropolitan area to promote the use of non-Japanese workers in the housekeeping industry and the Kansai region’s minpaku business of renting vacant rooms at condominiums and other private housing as accommodation for mostly overseas visitors.