Japanese City Receives Threats After Pokemon Go Driving Ban


The Japanese city of Ichinomiya received nine threatening emails after city officials decided to ask the developer of Pokemon Go to disable the smartphone game while driving in a bid to control fatal accidents. The decision by Ichinomiya officials was made in the aftermath of the tragic accident that took the life of a 9-year-old boy who was walking in a pedestrian crosswalk on his way home from school. The driver who allegedly drove the truck told police that he was playing Pokemon Go at the time, notes a report from Japan Today.

Nine threatening emails with similar content

Ichinomiya Mayor Masayasu Nakano said, “It is regrettable that such e-mails were sent to us when we were thinking that we want to deepen discussions on the issue.”

After city officials told media that they are going ahead with their request to the Pokemon Go operator, they received nine mails threatening them to drop the idea of submitting the request.

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The emails read, “Withdraw (the decision to make) the request. Divine punishment will be given to your families.”

One email even threatened, “Do you prefer the city government building being burned down?”

The email addresses of all the nine emails were different, but the content was almost identical. Following the receipt of the emails, the city government contacted police on November 4. Even though the game warns the player if it tracks that they are moving too fast, the pop-up can be disabled by selecting, “I am a passenger.”

Pokemon Go has its side effects too

This was not the first time when a Pokemon Go player has knocked someone down in Japan. In August, Japanese farmer Keiji Goo was arrested after allegedly hitting two women with his vehicle while playing the game. In the accident, a 72-year woman succumbed to the injuries, while the other woman was injured. This was the first fatal accident in Japan involving the Pokemon Go game.

Pokemon Go is one of the most popular games, but according to a new study in the United States, more than 110,000 incidents in a 10-day period have been caused by drivers and pedestrians distracted by the game, reports The Daily Mail. According to Dr. Jon Ayers, who is based at San Diego University, California, these accidents are a very dangerous side effect.

Researchers selected a sample of 4,000 messages on Twitter and news reports from a more than 10-day period with the word “Pokemon” in them. From the research, it was concluded that there were 113,993 incidents in which drivers and pedestrians were playing the game and got distracted.