Ridesharing companies legally require professional drivers in Japan, which limits Uber's options. Right now, it can only offer its most familiar service in areas where there are no viable alternatives. As such, it's trying a different strategy: it's partnering with the taxi companies it normally tries to beat. Uber has told Reuters it's launching a taxi-hailing pilot on the island of Awaji (near Osaka) where customers will use its app to hail cabs from 20 local firms. The initiative will get underway in the months ahead and last through March 2019.