SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English

Xie Zhihai “Future of Drone”


Recently, we have to keep a watchful eye on world affairs because of their seriousness.

As in the cases of the economic crisis of Greece, and the Islamic State  terrorist organization, it is also difficult for us to foresee the perspectives of affairs in Asia, like the stock-price-crash in Chinese market and national security bills including the right to collective defense in Japan. As we think this state of affairs may change tomorrow, we have to follow the news all day long since getting up in the morning. I feel strongly that international relations, in economics, politics and diplomacy are related to each other, and I, myself, have to study and analyze everything beyond my own special fields.


During my busy time following events in a changing world, I happened to read an interesting news item in a half page in the Newsweek (Japanese edition) dated July 14.  It says “Don’t shoot down a drone although it may obstruct your view”. This is a story of a man who flew a drone and a man who shot it down.The spread of small drones is very quick and legislation for it cannot catch up.  According to an episode of an article, when a pilot flew a drone in his native town (in California), his drone was gunned down by a neighbor.  It is said that the man who shot down the drone thought that it was a CIA spying drone. It became a legal case and the man who flew the drone got damage compensation.


Until quite recently, it was unnecessary for us to think of a scene that a drone come flying over our houses.There was a news item that a drone landed on the roof of the Japanese prime minister’s official residence. We have to be aware of a possible presence of a drone when we open the windows of our houses in Japan. Yes, this is not a story in the United States. According to an articles mentioned above, it an interpretation of the law against trespass remains uncertain when a drone flies over privately-owned land. There is a boundary like fence on land between houses, but, in there no such boundary in the sky. It is said legislationwill advance in the process of coping with individual cases.  However, another news about a drone came in. We have to expedite its legislation without waiting for the cases.


About the same time that the Newsweek article came out, a picture of a drone which fires its gun is floating appeared in the YouTube.  According to the news on TV, it was a teenage university student in the US who flew the drone.  Drones, which have been developed for the purpose of people’s convenience and defense against danger are taking unexpected direction.  Drones, which have already been flown in the world where there is no legislation yet, seem to tell us ironically that there is no borders in the sky.


An article about drones seems to be suggesting me that I have to make my researches always farsighted, and notconfined to my specialties. And, I have to keep watching hereafter the future of drones.


(Full-time lecturer,Kyoai Gakuen University)



Translated by Kazuo Kawamura

English checked by Mac Maquito


SGRA Kawaraban 467  in Japanese (original)