As DroneDJ reported last month, Zipline will begin drone delivery in Japan by transporting medical supplies to Gotō Islands west of Kyūshū. Company official Okeoma Moronu now details the opportunities and considerable challenges of its new operation in Japan.

Zipline is launching in Japan through a partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corp., a subsidiary of the eponymous automotive group which has created the Sora-iina subsidiary to manage medical drone deliveries to the Gotō Islands. Serving the approximately 50,000 residents of the archipelago, Zipline UAVs will fly beyond visual line of sight flights of up to 40 kilometers roundtrip, and gradually expand to reach even more remote locations.

Read related: Zipline expands drone deliveries of medical supplies to Kenya 

Zipline’s spokesperson in Japan, Okeoma Moronu, described what that launch will entail, and what it represents.

Why is Japan a big development for Zipline – whether in…