Under a revised aviation law that took effect Monday, drone owners in Japan must register their drones with the government.
The registration system was introduced in response to concerns about drone-related incidents and crime. In this case, it should be able to quickly identify the owner or user.
The use of drones for distribution, security and civil defense purposes has increased. The revised Civil Aviation Act requires owners to register all drones weighing 100 grams or more.
Flights with unregistered vehicles are prohibited. Violators will be punished with up to one year in prison or a fine of up to 500,000 yen or about $3,700.
The new system requires drones to carry a registration number. The vehicle must also be able to transmit data about its position and speed via radio.
The Department of Transportation says more than 200,000 drones have been registered since it began accepting applications in December.
The use of drones is believed to continue to increase, with Japan expected to allow Level 4 flights by the end of this year.
Level 4 means the vehicle is operating out of sight of the user in a densely populated area.
An official from the ministry’s drone safety unit stressed the need for the system, saying the risk of accidents could increase as more drones are deployed.
Source: NHK World-Japan