In the next few years, the Japanese government plans to replace its fleet of more than 1,000 drones made by China's leading manufacturer DJI with domestically-produced ones, which are under development with government support, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
Japanese authorities will also introduce stricter restrictions on new drone purchases, which will have to go through a risk assessment beforehand.
The recent moves result from Japan's rising worries that as standards for 5G wireless technology become more commonplace, drones "present risks of information theft via cyber-attacks and drone hijacking," according to the report.
"If they are hijacked by a third party, they can be used maliciously for terrorism and crimes," explained a Cabinet Secretariat official.
DJI Under SuspicionEstablished in 2006 and headquartered in Shenzhen city, southern China's Guangdong province, DJI is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial drones. According to Nikkei, the firm has 70 percent to 80 percent of the global drone market. Its units, while affordable, are widely considered less secure.
Researchers at cyber firms Synacktiv and GRIMM recently found that DJI’s mobile app contained features that accessed large amounts of user personal information and could leave users vulnerable to malicious attacks.
China's State Security Law and National Intelligence Law stipulate that "any organization or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with the state intelligence work."
The two laws came into effect respectively on July 1, 2015 and June 28, 2017.