Ruling In Japan’s First Pokemon Go Death Censured For Being Soft

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Pokemon Go player Keiji Goo, a 39-year-old farmer, was found guilty of killing a pensioner while playing the game and driving. Goo has been given a 14-month prison term, a sentence that was criticized as being too lenient, reports The Telegraph. This is not the first incident to happen in Japan while driving and playing Pokemon Go.

First conviction linked to Pokemon Go

On Monday, the guilty driver was convicted of causing extensive injuries to 60-year-old Kayoko Ikawa and of negligence resulting in the death of Sachiko Nakanishi, 72, on August 23 in Tokushima. According to reports by the Mainichi newspaper, Tokushima District Court Judge Tomoya Arai said Keiji Goo was driving while looking at the game screen on and off, and his negligence is very serious.

Online commentators were quite prompt in expressing their anger at the sentence, which was less than the 20 months demanded by prosecutors. On the Japan Today website, one person censured the sentence as obscene, while another said she is extra careful when with her kids, just because some people play that game and are careless while doing it.

The hugely popular online game was released in Japan on July 22. This is the first conviction in the country linked to the game, although there are two more cases pending related to fatal accidents caused by people playing the game while driving, notes The Telegraph.

Victims want Pokemon Go rendered inoperable while driving

On August 11, a Vietnamese woman in her 20s was run over by a car. She died on August 25. Another accident took place in Aichi Prefecture, where a nine-year-old Japanese boy was killed on Wednesday.

Takatoshi Noritake, the father of the nine-year-old boy, made an emotional plea on Friday for the popular game to be rendered inoperable while driving. At a press conference, he said his son had both dreams and hopes, notes Japan Today.

“What kind of world do we live in where a child who abided by the traffic rules has to die?” the father said.

Keita and his brother, aged 12, were on their way home from school when Keita was hit by a lorry driven by 36-year-old Nobusuke Kawai. According to the reports by the Asahi newspaper, Kawai subsequently told the police that he had been playing Pokemon Go while driving. Noritake said that to avoid any more deaths, they want measures so that the mobile game cannot be used at all while driving.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at [email protected]

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