Pokemon Go: Don’t try and catch creatures in the Fukushima disaster zone, trainers told

At least one of the game’s characters have been found in the area – which can still pose huge dangers for anyone that goes into it, because of lingering radioactive material

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 27 July 2016 13:34 BST
A man plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo on his mobile phone as he walks at a busy crossing in Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan
A man plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo on his mobile phone as he walks at a busy crossing in Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan (REUTERS/Toru Hanai)

Japan is asking that the highly radioactive Fukushima disaster zone is removed from Pokémon Go, to stop people risking their lives in search of creatures.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (Tepco) asked that developers classify the areas as off-limits so that Pokémon won’t appear in it.

The disaster zone around the area that a nuclear power plan melted down in Fukushima is still treated as entirely off-limits by most people, and is only entered using special equipment. That is apart from the Pokémon that appear there – and the people that could enter to try and catch them.

Tepco didn’t say whether anyone has yet been found looking for Pokémon in the area. But it did test the area around the Fukushima Daiichi plant and other nuclear power plants and found creatures there, it said.

And there have been reports that three teenagers broke into a nuclear power plant in the US to try and catch Pokémon. There are also fears that employees would play the game, and they have now been banned from doing so while on site.

The Japanese regulator has warned energy companies to tighten security to stop people breaking into sites to try and catch the creatures.

Niantic has already said that it would make changes to the game if any of its locations put players in danger. (At the moment it is only taking requests on that basis – meaning that people who simply want to have locations removed because they are a nuisance have to wait.)

Pokémon has only arrived in Japan recently, after weeks of waiting for it to be officially released. The international rollout was staggered to help reduce load on the game’s servers – but even still the Japanese release took the game down around the world.

Japan asks Pokemon Go to remove Hiroshima as a gym as people keep battling there

In advance of the official launch in Japan, officials gave out fliers telling citizens to ensure that they played the game safely. But there has all the same been a range of incidents, including car crashes that have been blamed on people being distracted by the game.

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