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Drone use is allowed in Japan, but there are several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. Operators must ensure that they follow the following drone laws when flying in Japan,
If the above rules are violated, the UAV operator is liable for a fine of up to 500,000 yen.
Operating a drone in Japan while drunk could lead to a fine of up to 300,000 yen (£2,200) to a year in prison thanks to this new legislation!
The Japan Aviation Act ( December 10, 2015) flying drones over residential areas or areas surrounding an airport without permission from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation. Flying drones during night time and during an event is also prohibited.
Unrestricted areas across the country are required to stay below 150 meters (492 feet), and also be kept at least 30 meters (98 feet) from people, buildings, and vehicles.
-A drone permit is not required for recreational drone use.
-Any person who intends to operate a UA/Drone in the following airspaces is required to obtain permission from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
(A) Airspace above 150m above ground level.
(B) Airspace around airports. (airspaces above approach surface, horizontal surface, transitional surface, extended approach surface, conical surface and outer horizontal surface.)
(C) Above Densely Inhabited Districts (DID), which are defined and published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Please adhere to the above General Japan Drone Laws however when flying your drone. (What Is Recreational Drone Use?)
-A permit is required for commercial drone use in Japan.
-You are required to submit an application in Japanese for the permission or approval to the Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism at least 10 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) before you fly a UAV/Drone
For a detailed guide to bringing your drone on airplanes click here. All drones should be brought on carry on luggage if possible. This is because according to the Montreal Convention, airlines are only liable for losses up to ~$1,000 USD. When traveling internationally, theft and lost luggage can be common issues, particularly if your flight has many connections. If your drone is worth more than $1,000 USD and you cannot bring it onto the plane you should consider shipping it with DHL, Fedex, or UPS instead and fully insure the shipment.
You should NOT place drone batteries in your checked baggage. All drone batteries should be placed in a Medium Size Lipo Battery Bag like the one shown here in the link and brought onto the plane in your carry on bag. Lithium-ion batteries are considered “dangerous goods” by airlines and rules surrounding these batteries on planes are EXTREMELY strict due to multiple incidents of these batteries catching fire. Failure to properly pack lithium-ion batteries in a bag such as the one shown in the link above can result in the airline seizing them, you getting fined, or being denied boarding.
Here is some video footage shot by Dronefanatic when flying a drone in Japan.
Read all of our Japan Drone Laws, and now looking for drones, parts, accessories, or something else? Read our guide for Buying Drones In Japan. It includes information on drones for sale in Japan, import taxes, payment options, and shipping.