Reuters reported that Japan Coast Guard (KaijÅ Hoan-chÅ) Commandant Okushima Takahiro said on June 16 that the agency will seek funding in next year’s budget to operate large unmanned aircraft. He said this will pave the way to prepare for operating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that can strengthen the offshore surveillance of the coast guard. Japan Coast Guard is not a military but a civilian organization, so the rules on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles are based on those of unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Japan Coast Guard recently completed successful flight testing of Raytheon Intelligence & Space maritime surveillance technologies onboard a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) SeaGuardianÂ® Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). The tests validated the wide-area maritime surveillance systems support for the Japan Coast Guard to carry out missions for search and rescue and maritime law enforcement. There are studies being conducted with domestic and foreign manufacturers to determine the cost and schedule for operating such platforms.
The Japan Coast Guard is the coast guard of Japan. The Japan Coast Guard consists of about 13,700 personnel and is responsible for the protection of the coastline of Japan under the oversight of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The Japan Coast Guard was founded in 1948 as the Maritime Safety Agency and received its current English name in 2000. the Japan Coast Guard has seen increased responsibility due to its quasi-autonomous status with wide latitude in its domestic security mission.