Japan police issue warning after 36 accidents in 3 days since Pokemon Go launch

A man playing Pokemon Go on his smartphone on a street in the Harajuku area of Tokyo.
A man playing Pokemon Go on his smartphone on a street in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

There have been 36 accidents involving drivers and cyclists since hit mobile game Pokemon Go was launched in Japan last Friday (July 22), local broadcaster NHK reported.

Four of them resulted in injuries.

The National Police Agency said its officers across the country had investigated 71 cases of people using their smartphones while on a bicycle or driving a car.

The agency has since issued another call to warn people not to play the game if they are cycling or driving.

 

Several high-profile incidents include a 22-year-old female college student on her bicycle who was robbed of her purse by a man on a motorcycle in Nagoya.

Reports said she was distracted while playing Pokemon Go and had not noticed the robber approaching.

Last Saturday, a man was arrested in central Tokyo after he allegedly assaulted a woman who was engrossed in the game.

Investigators revealed the suspect had thought his victim was taking photos of him.