JAPAN – Flying a drone while drunk could lead to a year in prison following the passage of a new law.
The law aims to control the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles in Japan.
Aside from imprisonment, those found to be intoxicated while flying a drone could also face a fine of up to 300,000 yen or about P140,000.
The law puts limits on certain areas where drones can be flown and it also covers drones weighing more than 200 grams.
The new law also levies fines on pilots who perform dangerous stunts with their drone such as quickly plunging the device towards crowds which would incur fines of up to 500,000 yen or P230,000.
Restrictions on where operators can fly their device also applies under the new legislation.
Specifically, drones are not allowed within 300 meters over Japan’s Armed Forces and other “defence-related facilities” without prior permission.
There is no license required to fly a drone in Japan. However, operators must abide by a series of regulations which included staying below 150 meters; avoiding airports and crowded areas; flying only during daylight and keeping the drone in sight at all times.
The fine for violating the above regulations is up to 500,000 yen or P230,000.
The new regulation follows an earlier ban on drone approaching nuclear power plants, parliament buildings and the prime minister’s office.
Venues of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and stadiums are also off-limits to drone pilots.
Fukushima residents on Tuesday (October 15) took stock of the damage left in the wake of Hagibis as the death toll of the worst typhoon to hit Japan for decades climbed to 66.
The highest death toll was in Fukushima prefecture north of Tokyo, where levees burst in at least 14 places along the Abukuma River, which meanders through a number of cities in the largely agricultural prefecture.
At least 25 people died in Fukushima, including a mother and child who were caught in floodwaters, NHK said. Another child of the woman remains missing.
Part of Masaharu Ishizawa’s family’s back garden had been washed away, breaking water pipes and electricity lines.
The family was using water carried from a local community center to clean up.
Two doors down, an old house had collapsed after the flood washed its foundations away.
About 133,000 households were without water while 22,000 lacked electricity, well down on the hundreds of thousands initially left without power but a cause for concern in northern areas where temperatures are falling.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliament committee on Tuesday (October 15) that the government is planning to classify the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis as a “catastrophic disaster.” (Reuters)
(Production: Kwiyeon Ha, Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to the government of Japan following the massive destruction brought about by the ‘violent’ Typhoon Hagibis that struck the east Asian country over the weekend.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s expression of sympathy to the Japanese people for the victims of the disaster.
“The Philippine embassy in Tokyo is closely monitoring the situation and is now in coordination with the members of the Filipino community in typhoon-affected areas in Japan,” Panelo said.
“As we offer our prayers, the Office of the President has likewise asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to get in touch with its Japanese counterpart for possible humanitarian assistance we can provide,” he added.
Public broadcaster NHK reported more than 30 people were killed, almost 20 people went missing and over 160 people were injured after ‘Hagibis’ brought record-breaking volume of rainfall and flooded huge swaths of residential districts on Saturday (October 12) and Sunday (October 13) in Tokyo and other areas in central, eastern and northeastern region,
‘Hagibis,’ which means ‘speed’ in Filipino language, inundated cities and towns across Japan including those in Nagano, Niigata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures.
Rescue efforts were ramped up for survivors as many trapped in their homes after major rivers overflowed their banks on the onset of what Japan considered as the ‘heaviest’ typhoon to hit the country in decades.
Many people were forced to abandon submerged homes.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a ministerial meeting on the typhoon held on Sunday (October 13) extended his condolences for all those who lost their lives and offered sympathy to all those impacted by Typhoon Hagibis.
A powerful storm approached Japan on Friday (October 11), threatening to batter its capital with the heaviest rain in 60 years, disrupting a Formula One Grand Prix and rugby’s World Cup and raising fears of transport chaos.
Typhoon Hagibis, which means “speed” in the Philippine language Tagalog, is due to make landfall on the main island of Honshu on Saturday (October 12), a month after one of the strongest typhoons to hit Japan in recent years destroyed or damaged 30,000 houses and caused extensive power cuts.
The storm could be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958 and people should also prepare for high waves and storm surges, Yasushi Kajihara, forecast division director at the Japan Meteorological Agency, told media during a Friday briefing.
Rugby World Cup organisers on Thursday (October 10) cancelled Saturday’s game between England and France as well as New Zealand’s match against Italy due to the risk from the typhoon. Japanese Formula One Grand Prix organisers also cancelled all practice and qualifying sessions scheduled for Saturday.
Typhoon Hagibis is expected to pass over or get close to Tokyo and neighbouring areas including Chiba prefecture, which is still recovering from a devastating typhoon Faxai that struck a month ago. (Reuters)
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