Japan Coast Guard to 'eliminate' Chinese drones
The Japan Coast Guard plans to stop using and procuring Chinese-made drones in fiscal 2020 due to concerns over information security, Nikkei has learned. It will be the second case in which Chinese products are barred from consideration by Japanese government procurement programs. Equipment from China's Huawei Technologies is also banned from consideration for government use.
The Japan Coast Guard is currently using a few dozen Chinese-made drones to conduct rescue and surveillance activities. The drones are reasonably priced and perform well but will be replaced by non-Chinese models. The coast guard is tasked with search and rescue operations at sea, monitoring suspicious vessels such as North Korean fishing boats and safeguarding the waters around the Senkaku Islands, Okinawa Prefecture. China also claims these islands, which it calls Diaoyu.
The maritime agency plans to include costs for replacing its Chinese drones in its budget for fiscal 2020, which starts April 1.
In response to reports of the latest alert, the company issued a statement saying, "At DJI, safety is at the core of everything we do, and the security of our technology has been independently verified by the U.S. government and leading U.S. businesses."
Tokyo is strengthening its economic security regulations and systems. The Japan Coast Guard's move is part of these efforts.
Japan in 2018 decided to exclude Huawei-made products from government procurement programs. Last month, Japan enacted a revision to the foreign exchange law that has stronger restrictions on foreign investments in Japanese companies, an effort to prevent malicious acquisitions.