Drones banned from Tokyo's public parks

While the acceptance of privately owned drones is rapidly expanding here in the US, in some countries, such as Japan, they are only beginning to get consumers' attention. Unfortunately for budding drone enthusiasts in Tokyo, there is a new roadblock to enjoying their hobby. The Japanese capital's municipal government recently issued a ban on drones being used at all public parks. The prohibition on UAVs follows a recent political protest incident, where a drone was landed on the roof of the Japanese Prime Minister's residence.

The ban applies to 81 local parks, and includes the notice that offenders may be fined up to 50,000 yen (about $420), as drones could pose a danger to children. The policy was enacted as an extension of a public ordinance that prohibits "acts that cause a hindrance to management." The city government has mentioned that it doesn't intend impose the expensive fine, but asks for the public's cooperation.

The incident that triggered this situation took place in late April after a 40-year-old local man landed a drone carrying mildly irradiated water on the prime minister's roof. The man turned himself in after Tokyo police began searching for the unknown pilot, and said he was protesting the Japanese government's stance on the use of nuclear energy.

The government says that the ban at public parks is only temporary, but seeing as how the ban itself is a response to a minor political protest, it seems unlikely the situation will be reversed anytime soon. Hopefully Tokyo's drone users will be able to find some other space in the crowded city to fly.

SOURCE Japan Times