Japan To Introduce Drone-Busting Police Squad

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The era of drone police-chases and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) dog fights looks like it could be just around the corner. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department are about to launch a battalion of anti-drone police, along with a host of new regulations on UAVs.

UAV operators will be asked to ground their drones if they are spotted in no-fly zones. If they fail to comply or can not be located, the police will hunt them down with a large six-propeller drone equipped with cameras and a 3 by 2 meters (10 by 6.5 feet) wide net to entangle and disable them.

The unit, which will be launched later this month, will consist of “dozens of officers,” Japan Today reported.

This new drone-busting squad also comes with a whole host of updates on Japan’s Civil Aeronautics Law, which took effect on December 10, 2015.

According to The Japan Times, these laws and regulations include a ban on drones weighing over 200 grams (7 ounces) in crowded residential areas and a restriction of flights above altitudes of 150 meters (490 feet). In addition, UAV hobbyists are expected to request approval from the ministry 10 working days before their flight or they could face a ¥500,000 ($4,100, £2,700) fine.

"We realise the need to adapt to the changing times and continually develop our security measures. We'll devote every effort to defending our airspace," a senior official of Japan’s Police Department said to Asian One.

The Japanese government introduced the laws in response the drone that landed on the Japanese Prime Minister's Office, as well wider concerns of regulating this newly sprung technology.

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