Japan’s ‘Year of Drones’ sees aviation legislation make progress

2022 is being thought of as the ‘year of drones’ for Japan. A wide range of sectors are beginning to utilize drones, including agriculture, civil engineering and construction, logistics, crime prevention, insurance and disaster response. Consequently, there are moves to respond to social issues using drones, such as the shortage of manpower due to declining birth rates and an aging population, and the demand for inspection and maintenance of infrastructure. Amendments to these laws is underway, and in June pilot license and drone registration systems are due to be launched. As a matter of course, different ministries are responsible for different fields. It will be important for the private sector to be aware of any policy changes, and to liaise with policy-makers as necessary.

The Japanese government's Go To Travel project is unlikely to resume

More than ten thousand cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed every day since January 25th, as the Omicron variant spreads through Japan. Minister Saito, from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, has stated on January 31st that the government’s “Go To Travel” program for supporting tourism “is not in a position to consider resumption at this time”. Prime Minister Kishida has announced a policy to provide one million daily doses of vaccine, and local governments have also been rolling out vaccinations ahead of schedule. Businesses will need to have the capability to follow government developments in order to set realistic timetables, to promote the reopening of ‘Go To Travel’, and to prepare thorough COVID-19 control measures for accommodation services at the same time.