Home International Theft, accidents reported amid ‘Pokemon Go’ fever in Japan

Theft, accidents reported amid ‘Pokemon Go’ fever in Japan


Tokyo, July 26, 2014: A series of incidents involving ardent players of the smartphone game “Pokemon Go” were reported Saturday and Sunday across Japan.

In Mizuho Ward, Nagoya, a 22-year-old female university student on a bicycle had her bag snatched from the bike’s front basket by a man on a motorcycle at about 3 p.m. on Sunday. She was absorbed in the game when the man sneaked up behind her.

The bag contained ¥2,000 in cash and other things, but the woman was not injured. According to Aichi prefectural police, she was heading to a nearby park to hunt “Pokemon Go” monsters while looking at her smartphone.

The game was released in Japan on Friday.

In Teine Ward, Sapporo, a 19-year-old woman reported to local police at about 3 p.m. on Sunday that she was hit by a boy on a bicycle who was playing a smartphone game.

The boy was apparently a primary school student and was reportedly playing “Pokemon Go” at the time of the accident. The woman was not injured.

In Mino, Gifu Prefecture, a Brazilian man wandered onto the Tokai-Hokuriku Highway at about 8:45 p.m. on Sunday. According to Gifu prefectural police, the 24-year-old company employee from Kani in the prefecture was said to have been immersed in “Pokemon Go” when a driver found him walking on the side of the highway.

In Niihama, Ehime Prefecture, a male teenage student on a bicycle bumped into a man in his 40s when the student looked at his phone to check “Pokemon Go” at about 8:20 p.m. on Saturday. The student was uninjured, but the man complained about mild lower back pain.

Okayama prefectural police issued traffic tickets to a 34-year-old male company employee, a 30-year-old part-timer and a 22-year-old female company employee on Saturday and Sunday for violating the Road Traffic Law. They were all playing “Pokemon Go” while driving.