News

February 16, 2017
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Concludes Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement with Minamisoma City

- Rakuten and Minamisoma City to collaborate in eight areas,
including drone-based distribution -

Tokyo, February 16, 2017 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced that it has concluded a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture with the aim of revitalizing the local community through the use of drones and the internet.

Based on this agreement and utilizing the various services Rakuten provides, Rakuten and Minamisoma City will strengthen their collaboration and promote cooperation in eight areas, including the development of a new distribution system utilizing drones, the promotion of “furusato nozei” (hometown tax payment), the expansion of markets for locally produced goods and the promotion of tourism.

In January 2017, a long-distance drone delivery demonstration experiment was carried out in Minamisoma City utilizing Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory Ltd.’s “PF1” airframe, the model on which the “Tenku” drone used by Rakuten in its Sora Raku drone delivery service is based. Utilizing the technology and know-how acquired through the service, Rakuten and Minamisoma City will collaborate closely to realize drone-based distribution to bring greater convenience to the local community.

With its philosophy of contributing to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship, Rakuten has collaborated with local governments throughout Japan on a variety of projects. Utilizing this experience, Rakuten will work with Minamisoma City to bring innovation to the region and reinvigorate the local community.

Main Areas of the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement

1. Development of a new distribution system utilizing drones
2. Promotion of “Furusato Nozei” (hometown tax payment)
3. Promotion of the use of IT by businesses in the city
4. Expansion of markets for Minamisoma products both in Japan and globally
5. Promotion of tourism
6. Collaboration with schools to nurture the next generation
7. Communication utilizing IT
8. Other activities to revitalize the region and improve services for residents