Categories: News

Two Fatalities in Japan Linked to Pokémon Go

Two people in Japan have been killed in separate Pokémon Go-related accidents, the first of their kind in the country. Both incidents involve drivers hitting pedestrians while playing the popular mobile game.

The first incident, as reported by The Japan Times:

“The suspect, 39-year-old farmer Keiji Goo, told police he was playing the immersive smartphone game while driving in the city of Tokushima on Tuesday when he hit two female pedestrians at around 7:35 p.m.

The accident killed Sachiko Nakanishi, 72, and left Kayoko Ikawa, 60, badly injured. The two women were trying to cross the road at a point where there was no pedestrian crossing, Tokushima police said.

Goo, who had been on his way home from a local farm cooperative after dropping off produce from his farm, initially told investigators he was looking at the clock on his smartphone, police said.

But he later confessed that he was playing “Pokémon Go” and wasn’t paying full attention while behind the wheel, they said.”

The second incident, as reported by TBS News (via Kotaku):

“The latest victim, a 29 year-old Vietnamese woman, was hit on August 11 as she crossed the street at the crosswalk, leaving her in critical condition. She passed away yesterday, TBS News reports.

The driver, a 26 year-old company employee, was arrested and is quoted as saying, “Just before, I had been playing Pokémon Go, and I was going to charge my phone, and when I looked away, that’s when it happened.” TBS News reports that this is the second death in Japan caused by drivers playing Pokémon Go.”

Since Pokémon Go was released in Japan on 22nd July, there have been 79 road traffic accidents connected to the game, while worldwide a number of people have been assaulted, mugged, or killed while hunting Pokémon. In recent weeks, the Pokemon Go phenomenon seems to be on the wane, with a reported 10 million users abandoning the game over the last few weeks.

Ashley Allen

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