Tokyo, May 18 : The parliament of Japan, Diet on Friday passed a bill to ban drone flights over the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and bases of Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) , the US military in the country, to prevent terrorist attacks.
The bill also prohibits use of drones in September's Rugby World Cup and Paralympics venues. The prime minister's office and nuclear power plants have already been designated as no-fly zones. The law to ban flying of drones was passed by a majority votes in the Upper House.
The law also facilitate to use drones by private individuals, if prior permission is sought from authorities media outlet may be granted exemptions, The Japan Times reported.
The legislation restricts operators from flying drones within 300 meters of the boundary of designated sites. It also facilitate to use drones by private individuals, media outlet, if prior permission is sought from authorities exemptions may be granted.
The move has sparked protests from opposition parties and the media over the past few months due to their concerns about a possible denial of people’s right to know and a potential disruption of newsgathering activities.The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association, an independent organization run by Japanese mass media, opposed the legislation.“It will greatly limit newsgathering activities and infringe upon the right of the people to be informed,” they said.
In past Diet sessions, opposition parties, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, expressed concerns that people’s right to know may be hampered because the legislation would prohibit aerial photography and filming of the site in the Henoko district of Okinawa Prefecture where landfill work is being conducted for the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
The police and the SDF are permitted to seize or destroy drones if they are flown near designated zones without permission, and lawbreakers risk up to a year in prison or a maximum fine of ¥500,000. UNI