Rakuten, Seiyu to deliver by drone to Tokyo Bay isle

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - Rakuten Inc., an e-commerce company  and supermarket chain Seiyu GK announced that they will offer a delivery service using drones.

E-commerce company Rakuten, Inc. and supermarket chain Seiyu GK announced Monday that they will offer a delivery service using drones.

 The Seiyu store in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, will transport food to visitors on Sarushima island, an uninhabited island in Tokyo Bay about 1.5 kilometers from the store.

 The service will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for about three months from July 4.

 The two companies showed a demonstration flight to the press on Monday. In the demonstration, when a user placed an order using a smartphone app, a product was loaded into a drone at the Seiyu store, after which it flew about five minutes to Sarushima beach.

 Customers can order up to 5 kilograms of vegetables, drinks, liquor and other items at a time. After selecting the time they want to receive their purchase and paying via the smartphone app Rakuten Pay, the order is completed.

 The fee is ¥500 per delivery. The service may not be available in bad weather such as rain or strong wind.

 Many tourists visit Sarushima to enjoy barbecuing, but there is a limited number of ferries. The two companies expect the system to be used as a quick way to procure food and other items. They plan to use the service to help shoppers in remote islands and mountainous areas.