Law regulating, restricting drones in Japan expected to pass this month


A law regulating the use of drones is expected to pass the Diet by the end of this month to beef up counterterrorism measures ahead of the Group of Seven summit in May, according to sources from both ruling and opposition parties.

The law would ban drones from being flown over and near designated facilities such as the Prime Minister’s Office, the Imperial Palace and locations where foreign dignitaries are.

It would allow the police to destroy the drones when necessary.

The bill is currently in the Upper House. It was passed by the Lower House last year.

The ruling and opposition parties agreed Monday to hold a question and answer session on the bill and take a vote in an Upper House committee Thursday. The bill will then likely pass the plenary session of the upper chamber as early as next week, the sources said.

In the run-up to the G-7 summit in Mie Prefecture, ministerial meetings are scheduled to be held nationwide, beginning with foreign ministers April 10 and 11 in Hiroshima.

The Civil Aeronautics Law was amended in September to regulate drones, but experts pointed to a flaw as it did not authorize destroying suspicious drones when necessary.

The Abe administration decided to take a tough stance against the use of drones after a small one with a minuscule amount of radiation was found on the roof of the Prime Minister’s Office in April.