Japan's first drone document delivery operation launched in Fukushima amid labor shortage
Japan Times -- Nov 08
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.

全国で初めて福島県の南相馬市と浪江町の間で郵便物を運ぶドローンの運用が始まりました。 7日午前9時すぎ、南相馬市小高区の郵便局の屋上で郵便物を運ぶ全国で初めてのドローンが飛び立ちました。ドローンは、直線距離で8キロほど離れた浪江町の郵便局まで約16分かけて飛行しました。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Nov 17
Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. pledged Friday to administer more stringent alcohol tests for pilots and use new testing equipment in response to recent drinking incidents involving flight crew. (Japan Times)
Nov 17
Kyoto Prefectural Police on Friday apprehended a man after he is believed to have stabbed a woman at a supermarket in Kyoto City’s Sakyo Ward, reports Fuji News Network (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 17
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks on the possible return of 2 of the 4 Russian-held islands at the center of a long-running territorial dispute. (NHK)
Nov 17
A Japanese national research institute said Thursday it will import strains of Ebola and four other deadly viruses to improve detection processes amid a rise in the number of foreign visitors to the country. (Japan Times)
Nov 16
On 14 October, the Minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Yoshitaka Sakurada was questioned by opposition party members in the Japanese Diet. In one particular exchange with Constitutional Democratic Party member Masato Imai he made a surprising revelation. (soranews24.com)
Nov 15
A Japanese high court on Wednesday overturned a lower court decision and acquitted a tattooist for operating without a medical license, ruling the process is not a medical practice. (Kyodo)
Nov 15
Between 260,000 and 340,000 foreign workers are estimated to flow into Japan in the five years from next April through an envisioned immigration control law revision aimed at dealing with the country's serious labor crunch, government sources said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Nov 15
Public broadcaster NHK announced Wednesday the lineup for its annual New Year's Eve music extravaganza, but K-pop group BTS --- under fire recently for a controversial T-shirt worn by one of its members --- was not included. (Japan Times)
Nov 15
Japan's economy contracted for the first time in 2 quarters. Government officials say a string of natural disasters in the period dented exports and consumer spending. (NHK)
Nov 14
Health officials in Japan say nearly 2,000 people have contracted rubella, or German measles, this year. (NHK)