Regulation of Unknown: A Lesson from Japan’s Public Law & Policy for Next-Generation Robots

Date: January 28, 2016

Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Venue: Room 623, 6/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU

Speaker: Dr. Weng Yueh-Hsuan (翁岳暄), Co-founder of Peking University’s ROBOLAW.ASIA Initiative and Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s CHINA-LII Project


Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) had established the Robot Policy Committee since 2004. The METI robots policy guidelines cover many fields of business, technology, innovation and safety, which is essential to the realization of the human-robot co-existence society. A crucial part of Japanese robot policy is “Tokku” Special Zone”. Japanese government approved the establishment of special zones in many major cities for universities and companies to test their robots in real environments in order to solve an industrial crisis that strict laws restrict the development of RT industry. Though the history of RT special zone is merely 10 years long, but there are already many special zones established in Fukuoka, Osaka, Gifu, Kanagawa and Tsukuba. There were also new legal issues arose in the past decade. As the development of robotics and its submergence to the society expand, the importance of RT special zone as an interface for robots and society will be more apparent. In this talk, the main focus is to view the legal impacts of the “Tokku” special zone to the human-robot co-existence society.



Dr. Yueh-Hsuan Weng is the Co-founder of Peking University’s ROBOLAW.ASIA Initiative and Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s CHINA-LII Project. He received his Ph.D. in Law from Peking University and M.S. in Computer Science from National Chiao Tung University. He has been appointed as Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Law, University of Bologna (2015), Research Associate, Peking University Law School (2010-2014), Visiting Researcher, Humanoid Robotics Institute, Waseda University (2012-2013) and SEN Member, EU FP7 Project: ROBOLAW (2012-2014). His research interests are in issues concerning the interface between ICT and Law, including AI & Law (with Prof. Giovanni Sartor), Regulation of Robotics (with Prof. Atsuo Takanishi), Legal Informatics (with Prof. Friedrich Lachmayer) and Intellectual Property Law (with Prof. ZHANG Ping).