Legislation & Ordinances

Laws and Ordinances  that regulate drones in Japan

Civil Aeronautics Act art. 132, as amended by Act No. 67 of 2015  in effect from December 10.

The Act prohibits flying drones over residential areas or areas surrounding airport without permission from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation.
Flying drones during night time and during an event is also prohibited.

Nikkei

Civil Aeronautics Act No. 118 of 2006

(Actions Likely to affect flight)

99-2 No person shall launch rockets or perform any action (except installation of objects and planting of trees), as may be specified by Ordinances of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, which might affect the flights of aircraft in an air traffic control zone, an air traffic information zone, an altitude change prohibited airspace or a positive control airspace within an air traffic control area; provided, however, that the same shall not apply when the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism deems that the said action poses no danger to the flights of aircraft or is necessary in the public interest and transitory and permits such action.

PDF of the Civil Aeronautics Act

Translation of the Civil Aeronautics Act

Ordinance for Enforcement of the Civil Aeronautics Act

Article 209-3

(Actions Likely to Affect Flight)
Article 209-3 (1) The acts that may affect a flight of aircraft pursuant to paragraph (1) of the Article 99-2 of the Act that are set out by specified by Ordinances of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism are as per the following items.
(i) Launching of rocket, firework, rockoon or other items into an airspace specified in paragraph (1) of the Article 99-2 of the Act (if the applicable airspace is a control zone or information zone, it shall be limited to the airspace 150 meters or more above the land or water surface and airspace above the approach surface, transition surface or horizontal surface, or extended approach surface, conical surface or outer external horizontal surface specified by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of the Article 56 of the Act).
(ii) Release or floatation of a balloon (except for a toy balloon and those with structure of a toy) into the airspace set out in the preceding item.
(iii) Flying a model aircraft within the airspace in item (i).
(iv) Flying as a group within the airspace in item (i).
(v) Flying a hang glider or paraglider within the airspace in item (i).
(2) A person intending to obtain a permission under the proviso of paragraph (1) of the Article 99-2 of the Act shall submit a written application to the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism stating the following matters.
(i) Full name, address and contact
(ii) Purpose of the act
(iii) Details of the act and the time and location of the applicable act
(iv) Other matters for reference
Article 209-4 (1) The acts that may affect aircraft flight pursuant to paragraph (1) of the Article 99-2 that are set out by specified by Ordinances of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism are as per the following items.
(i) Launching of rocket, firework, rockoon or other items into the following airspace among the airspaces specified in paragraph (2) of the Article 99-2 of the Act
(a) Airspace above the approach surface, transition surface or horizontal surface, or extended approach surface, conical surface or outer horizontal surface specified by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of the Article 56 of the Act
(b) Airspace 150 meters or more above the land or water surface within airways
(c) Airspace 250 meters or more above the land or water surface
(ii) Release or floatation of a balloon (except for a toy balloon and those with structure of a toy) into the airspace set out in the preceding item.
(iii) Flying a model aircraft within the airspace in item (i).
(iv) Flying as a group within the airspace in item (i).
(v) Flying a hang glider or paraglider within the airspace in item (i) (A).
(2) A person intending to conduct the act of the preceding paragraph shall notify the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism the matters listed in items (i), (iii) and (iv) of paragraph (2) of the preceding Article.

In addition, it has been reported by AsianOne that about half of the 47 prefectural and 20 ordinance-designated city governments have bans, or are considering bans, on flights of unmanned aircraft in any location that attracts crowds. The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that:

Thirty two local governments have taken or are considering measures in parks, tourist spots, prefectural government premises and other locations that draw large crowds.

The finding highlights local government efforts to address concerns of possible drone-related incidents and accidents by using existing local ordinances.

At least 17 prefectural governments including Tokyo and five municipal governments have already introduced drone regulations. Five prefectural and five city governments are deciding whether to follow suit.

Among the eight cities bidding to host a Group of Seven summit meeting in 2016, the municipal governments of Shima, Mie Prefecture, and Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, are considering drone flight regulations if either of them are chosen to host the event. The local governments concerned are considering ordinances for a set period to regulate drone flights over and near the summit venue.

– See http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japan-prefectures-curbing-drones#sthash.GNQsm1Ld.dpuf

The Civil Aviation Bureau

The Civil Aviation Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is responsible for aircraft and drone operations in Japan.

Civil Aviation Bureau

The law and news on drones and UAVs in Japan