• News Release

Namiko Gakuen Educational Association Collaborates with Private Enterprises to Establish Japan’s First* Drone Vocational School ーVFR and Rikei Jointly Exhibit at “Japan Drone 2022” to Raise Recognition in the General Marketー

Namiko Gakuen Educational Association (Head Office: Settsu City, Osaka; President: Takahisa Abe; hereinafter “Namiko Gakuen”) that operates a high school has started a corporate partnership with VFR Inc. (Head Office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Koichiro Yuasa; hereinafter ”VFR”), and Rikei Corporation (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Satoru Isaka; hereinafter “Rikei”) to establish “Vocational School Kansai Drone College”, a drone vocational school for the purpose of developing human resources who can flight and inspect Japanese drones.
In addition, Namiko Gakuen, VFR and Rikei will jointly exhibit “SOTEN Virtual Flight Simulator” a Japanese drone that can virtually fly over disaster sites and other locations, and “VFRee-T01”, a toy drone from VFR, at “Japan Drone 2022” that is scheduled to be held at Makuhari Messe from June 21 to 23, 2022.

* Although there are already drone departments and courses, this is a first drone vocational school to be established in Japan.
* According to an in-house survey as of January 2022 based on “2006-2021 List of Vocational Schools in Japan”

About the Drone Vocational School

(1) Background of the establishment (in preparation)
There are several drone piloting licenses approved by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism that can be obtained at private institutions, usually through classroom trainings (including online), practical trainings, and examinations. Although a national certification is scheduled to be introduced in December 2022, practical flights in a training course are only from one to seven days, that is not enough to acquire the skills to utilize drones in the jobs. There is also an issue of lack of drone flight experience in all kinds of situations, including emergency landing.
Based on these backgrounds, Namiko Gakuen Educational Association is now preparing to establish the drone vocational school (scheduled to be opened in April 2023).

【Examples of expected use at various institutions】
○ Private institutions that certify drone qualifications: Acquisition of drone certification and basic flight skills (limited use for hobbies and business, etc.)

○ Drone vocational schools: Develop human resources who can be immediately effective in the field of drones. (Personnel capable of flying at a level equivalent to Level 4, and personnel capable of inspecting and maintaining aircraft, etc.)

(2) About the corporate collaboration
Many countries, including Japan and the United States, have begun to concern about the safety such as data breach caused by Chinese drones. For this reason, the Japanese government has announced the policy to “procure drones that guarantee security only,” “replace drones already introduced promptly”, and it is now mandatory to submit a plan to the Cabinet Secretariat for review when the Japanese government purchases a drone. Due to the trend, Namiko Gakuen Educational Association has started collaboration with VFR and Rikei that have involved in Japanese drones, for the establishment of the drone vocational school.

(3) Training of Japanese drone pilots
Establishment of a pilot/inspection license specialized for Japanese drones is now prepared in response to the growing demands for highly skilled pilots who can flight Japanese drones especially at inspection sites of public work projects, where the security concerns have raised due to the use of drones. In order to develop human resources who can contribute to societies as immediate effective players, it is planned to introduce VR simulators, and establish a new specialized curriculum using actual Japanese drones, that is not available at other schools. In addition, VFR will also establish a system to accept interns for practical experience on the production line or demonstration site, and job placement opportunities.

(4) SOTEN Virtual Simulator
SOTEN flight simulator jointly developed by VFR and Rikei reproduces the same aircraft performance and user interface as the Japanese drone SOTEN. It enables flight training in an environment that imitate real-life situations that are difficult to reproduce such as fire sites, and allows the trainees to gain experience of hiyari-hatto(*1) and problems that are unique to actual situations. Camera shooting training and others in a virtual environment are also possible, that helps to improve flight experience that has been a long-standing issue.

※1 Hiyari-hatto: Near-miss incidents that is very close to causing a serious disaster or accident.

(5) Future development
Starting in Osaka, Namiko Gakuen Educational Association will deploy drone vocational schools throughout Japan that have a drone course and drone license acquisition and operation system. The market value of young people who have acquired specialized skills and knowledge of drones are expected to increase, and become driving force in society. Namiko Gakuen Educational Association will train specialists who can flight and inspect Japanese drones and produce them to various industries, throughout Japan, and around the world.

About the Joint Booth by Namiko Gakuen, VFR, and Rikei at Japan Drone 2022

Dates From 21 st June 21 to 23 rd June, 2022
Exhibition Organizer General Incorporated Association Japan UAS Industrial Development Association (JUIDA)
Venue Makuhari Messe
Admission Fee 2,000 yen *Free for pre-registered visitors from following website and those who with invitation
Details Introduction of “Drone School of Seisho High School” by NamiKo Gakuen Educational Association
Exhibition of the Japanese drone “SOTEN
Experience of “SOTEN Flight Simulator”

Namiko Gakuen Educational Association

Namiko Gakuen Educational Association operates Seisho High School, a comprehensive school with four engineering departments (Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Communication Systems Engineering), Regular Course (Advanced and Career Course), and International Course (Sports Course). The association opened “Drone School in Seisho High School” as the JUIDA ‘s first certified school that enables students to acquire certification for drone flight. Furthermore, Namiko Gakuen Educational Association is preparing for the opening of the Japan’s first drone vocational school.

※The establishment is currently being prepared

Seisho High School
Vocational School Kansai Drone College

VFR Inc.

VFR was established as a subsidiary of VAIO Corporation with the vision of “Opening up possibilities for people and society with our technologies and passion.” The company provides solutions for drone business, servicers, and end users, and also aim to contribute to building an ecosystem for the development of the drone industry by engaging in an open and flat dialogue with all parties involved in the drone industry.

Rikei Corporation

Rikei Corporation, established in 1957, is a solution vendor in the IT and electronics industries. In the fields of system solutions, network solutions, electronic components and equipment, the company provides a variety of solutions centered on the world’s most advanced technologies and advanced products. Regarding VR, Rikei Corporation is focusing on development of technology that creates VR space equivalent to real space, and the technology has been adopted by automobile manufacturers and others.


Ikuyo Miyake
Public Relations Group