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Drone Laws in Japan

Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Japan.

drone laws in JapanJapan Drone Regulations

According to Japan’s national aviation authority, the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), flying a drone is legal in Japan, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.

If you’d like to contact the JCAB directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: hqt-jcab.mujin@ml.mlit.go.jp / +81 3 5253 8111

flying a drone in Japan

Why fly a drone in Japan? To get great aerial shots like these!

General Rules for Flying a Drone in Japan

Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Japan.

  • Before flying a drone in Japan you must request approval by submitting an application for permission to the Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism at least 10 business days prior to the proposed operation. Contact Japan’s UA / Drone Counseling Service for more information.
  • Drones may not be flown in the following manners without special permission from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism: 150 meters (492 feet) above ground level; near airports; above densely inhabited areas, as defined by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
  • Drones may only be flown during the daytime.
  • Drone pilots must maintain a visual line of sight with their drone during operations.
  • Drones may not fly within 30 meters (98.4 feet) of people or private property.
  • Drones may not be flown over crowds or sites where large groups of people are gathered, such as concerts or sports events.
  • Drones may not be used to transport hazardous goods.
  • Drones may not drop objects while in flight, either intentionally or accidentally.

For more information on Japan’s drone laws, see this page on the JCAB’s website.

Know something we don’t about drone laws in Japan? Send us an email at support[at]uavcoach[dot]com. We are not international aviation attorneys and do our best to keep this page up-to-date for drone pilots, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how governments are responding, drone regulations in Japan can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.

Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Japan? Here you go: