Japanese officials have banned Pokemon GO in Hiroshima
The mega hit smartphone Pokemon GO game launched in Japan last week after scoring over 75 million downloads in the first month. Due to the game’s sometimes invasive mechanics, officials from the Japanese city of Hiroshima has added Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in the list of areas that prohibits the use of the game. The primary aim is to conserve peace and avoid disturbances for people in the immediate vicinity. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a place of tribute of the first atomic bomb during the Second World War. The park is part of the growing list of special and historic areas that are being removed as PokeStops or Gyms, including the United States’ own Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Japans biggest concerns are the players devoted to the game that might cause a disturbance to upcoming annual ceremonies around religious and historic sites. Japanese officials have called for Niantic Labs (the developers behind Pokemon GO) to ban Pokemon virtual sites around these areas.
Safety is also a major concern for Japan. Just recently, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (Tepco) contacted Niantic Labs to remove the Pokemon in the game altogether around the Fukushima power plant to prevent people from wandering into dangerous radioactive zones.
Pokemon GO has been an international phenomenon drawing over 25 million active users in the US alone. The game was recently released in Hong Kong on the 24th of July and a full release for other Asian countries is still tentative.