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Japanese government designates Chiba as a special “deregulated zone,” at least partially so the city can move forward with test flights for drone-based delivery services alongside retail giant Amazon.

In an unexpected move, the Abe administration recently fulfilled its promise to begin experimenting with “strategic special zones”—areas that enjoy exemptions from certain laws and regulations—by electing Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, one of these zones, opening the door for the city to begin experimenting with drone-based goods delivery services.

To be clear, the so-called “deregulated” zones the government is tooling around with are typically exempt from economic, immigration or zoning restrictions, or other fairly minor exceptions, so you probably shouldn’t expect marijuana vendors to start showing up in Osaka or murder to be suddenly legalized in Tokyo or anything (yet). Reports aren’t clear on exactly what exemption allows Chiba City to start delivering goods by drone, but we’d guess it has something to do with airspace regulations.

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Online retail giant Amazon will be teaming with the city to finally realize their long-touted dream of a fully operational, fully drone-staffed delivery system.

To begin with, Amazon and the city will use the drones for deliveries of medicine and other items for medical needs, as well as everyday household supplies, before presumably moving on to video games, pizza and six packs of beer and then probably stopping there because, really what else does anyone need after that?

It’s great to see such a truly innovative and potentially game-changing service finally start making steps to becoming fully realized and publicly available, though we worry how many 50-inch TVs will come hurtling out of the sky to crash through Chiba residents’ roofs before Amazon is able to iron all the kinks out of the system.

Source: Itai News
Images: Amazon

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