Japan Times, August 30, 2015
Japan’s agriculture ministry is considering setting rules for how drones can be using in farming amid a recent upsurge of interest by the sector in the technology, according to officials in the agency.
Compared with the unmanned helicopters currently used in agricultural work, such as for spraying pesticides, drones are cheaper and more efficient, a farmer in Hokkaido said.
In Japan, remote-control industrial helicopters should have a payload capacity of at least 10 kilograms, and their operators are required to obtain flight skill certificates and submit flight plans. At present, about 2,700 such helicopters are registered and in use, chiefly for spraying pesticides on rice, soy bean, wheat and barley fields.
Meanwhile, drones, which have less lifting capacity, have yet to be regulated.