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The only person in kimono at a recent government meeting on flying cars was Kotaro Chiba, a former online-game executive turned financier of a very specific kind.

For Chiba, 44, who wears kimono on special occasions to show his pride in Japanese culture, is gathering money for what he calls the Drone Fund. It invests in unmanned vehicles to survey buildings, make deliveries and take aerial photos for tourist boards; hover scooters; and a pilotless cargo craft that’s seeking to make it all the way from Japan to Silicon Valley in one go.

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