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25 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 513 (2018)


The global Unmanned Aircraft System, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) revolution is poised to have an impact across a broad range of industries from agriculture to filmmaking. The United States has taken a difficult and slower path to implementing UAS policy, with Congress essentially mandating the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take action in 2015. The FAA's 624-page rulebook marks the first attempt of any comprehensive plan to regulate remote-controlled and commercial aircraft activity. Across the globe, Japan, a country with a proven track record in electronics and technology, is outpacing other countries in devising regulations that will increase UAS use to benefit the nation's citizens. This paper argues that Japan's historical experience with unmanned aviation vehicles (UAVS), beginning mainly in the 1980s in the agricultural sector, allowed the Japanese government to coalesce more quickly in revising their civil aviation law than most developed countries. This note examines Japan's influence on UAS policy with the formation of regulations and adoption of new technology. More specifically, it looks at the United States as a case study as evidence of Japan's influence on other developed nations.