Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Japan issues Pokemon warning

Published:Sunday | July 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM
A group of Pokemon Go players at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami.


The Pokemon Go craze has yet to hit Japan, but reports of robberies, traffic accidents, and other mishaps abroad already have the government worried.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday that the government wants players to follow guidelines issued by a national centre for incident readiness and cybersecurity.

In a one-page flier, the government-run agency has released nine tips advising players of the augmented reality game to be cautious of scams and their personal safety, as well as to carry extra batteries and be mindful of heatstroke.

Motomasa Takahashi, 21, said he would be careful playing the game after seeing reports of accidents related to it. A driver who crashed into another car in Fall City, Washington, in the United States, reportedly told authorities he was distracted by the game.

Fans are eagerly awaiting the launch of Pokemon Go in the character's country of birth. A report that the game would finally be released in Japan next Wednesday raised expectations, but it turned out to be false.

That left gamers in Akihabara, Tokyo's centre for all things tech, still pining to start catching Pokemon in their neighbourhoods. "There are people who have achieved a high score abroad, so I hope it gets released in Japan soon," 16-year-old Souta Horime said.

The game was launched two weeks ago in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand and is available in more than 20 countries, mostly in Europe and North America.

The developer, Niantic, has not announced a release date for Japan. McDonalds Japan, though, said in a brief statement late Wednesday that it is collaborating with Pokemon Go and that the project would be launched soon.