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Japan to ban drones near venues for 2020 Olympic Games

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government has decided to ban flying drones near venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games during the events, a government source said Friday.

As part of efforts to counter possible terror attacks, the government aims to pass legislation that will allow police officers to collect and destroy drones if they are flown near designated zones without permission, the source said.

The government will also consider whether the envisioned law should include U.S. military bases and Self-Defense Forces' facilities as restricted areas, the source said, adding that the regulation will also cover venues of the Rugby World Cup 2019 during the event.

It plans to submit a bill for relevant laws to the ordinary Diet session to be convened early next year.

Japan already prohibits drone flights above such key facilities as the prime minister's office and the Imperial Palace, but many sports venues are not covered.

"There are possibilities of drones exploding or spilling hazardous liquids at venues, but it's difficult to forcibly eliminate them under current laws," a government official said.

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