The Civil Aeronautics Act stipulates that drones can be flown only in the daytime and in locations at least 30 meters away from people and buildings. Permission must be received in advance from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to fly a drone in other conditions. The act also provides that drones must be within the sight of the drone operator at all times [during flight].
With an eye toward the use of drones for home delivery, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) is moving toward creating by 2018 standards that would permit drones to be flown in places outside of the range of vision of the operator in the case of flight in outlying islands and mountainous regions. Use of a drone port looks likely to be one of the criteria requirements. Another requirement is likely to be that the drone is equipped with cameras and sensors to help confirm the surroundings and detect obstacles. MLIT aims to expand industrial uses of drones by allowing long-distance flight if safety can be confirmed.