Japan's first drone document delivery operation launched in Fukushima amid labor shortage
FUKUSHIMA â" Japan Post Co. on Wednesday began transporting documents by drone in Fukushima Prefecture, the first operation of its kind in Japan, following easing of regulations to cope with labor shortages in the transport industry.
The company said it will initially use drones to carry its own documents and advertisements between two post offices in the northeastern prefecture to examine whether the unmanned aircraft can be used to carry mail. In the future, it hopes to use drones for deliveries to mountainous regions and remote islands.
It launched the operation after the government eased related regulations in September.
Prior to easing restrictions, an operator was required to keep the drone in view. But the new regulations allow for longer flights if safety can be ensured remotely through measures such as equipping the drone with a camera.
The Japan Post drone, carrying brochures for New Yearâs cards and pictures of drones drawn by children, left a post office in the city of Minamisoma at around 9 a.m. and arrived at a post office in the town of Namie, 9 kilometers away, 15 minutes later.
âThis will be a turning point for logistics. Iâm happy to receive these drawings full of dreams,â Namie Mayor Kazuhiro Yoshida said.
Japan Post plans to operate the drone, capable of flying at a maximum speed of 54 kph and carrying up to two kilograms of goods, six days a month and up to two round-trips a day for the time being.
LATEST NATIONAL STORIES
- Tokyo 2020: Workers raise section of giant roof at tradition-inspired Olympic gymnastics venue
- The venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic gymnastics competition moved a step closer toward completion Wednesday when construction workers raised the center section of its giant timber roof. Ariake G...
- Rakuten's English drive a case study of success, but wider adoption by Japan Inc. much slower going
- Rakuten Inc. CEO Hiroshi Mikitani's 2010 announcement of English becoming the official internal language of the online retailing giant shocked many of the firm's employees, including Fumie Suzuki. ...
- Japan's nuclear watchdog approves extension for tsunami-hit plant to operate beyond 40-year cap
- Authorities on Wednesday approved for the first time an extension to the 40-year operating life of one of the nuclear power plants affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. The gover...