MITOYO, Kagawa Prefecture–Drones are taking parcel deliveries to new heights on a remote island where demand is high through a new service touted as the first of its kind in Japan.

About 30 meters above the Seto Inland Sea, a small, unmanned aircraft glides through the sky. It left Suda Port in Mitoyo for the Awashima islet four kilometers away and, after its seven-minute flight, arrived and automatically unloaded the package all on its own.

On a clear day, this is a typical scene. However, the island frequently has inclement weather, which has proven to be a major challenge for the service’s development and expansion.

But since there is only one small, family-run grocery store on Awashima, grateful islanders hope the novel delivery service is here to stay.

“It will prove to be of great help if a wider variety of products become available for delivery,” said resident Takeko Asakura, 44.

Kamomeya Inc., a start-up based in the prefectural…