The government on Friday enacted legislation severely restricting the flying of drones over U.S. military and Self-Defense Forces facilities, as well as venues hosting 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic events as a preventive measure against terrorism.
The move has sparked protests from opposition parties and the media over the past few months due to their concerns about a possible denial of people’s right to know and a potential disruption of newsgathering activities.
While the legislation all but bans the flying of drones by private individuals, if prior permission is sought from authorities certain organizations, including media outlets, may be granted exemptions.
The House of Councilors approved the bill at a plenary session following its passage through the House of Representatives on April 16.
The legislation similarly restricts the flying of drones over venues for this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Only drones providing coverage for, and controlled by, the media will be allowed to