Japan Warns Over Pokemon Go Pitfalls Ahead of Launch

By AFP-JIJI
July 21,2016
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(Photo by Chris Helgren/Reuters)

(AFP)--Japan isn't taking any chances when it comes to the safety of impatient fans awaiting the release of Pokemon Go in the country where the cutesy monsters were born.

Tokyo has issued a nine-point safety guide warning of dangers gamers could face, including heat stroke, online scams and dubious strangers.

Japan's National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) has also advised fans to download a weather app so Pokemon hunts don't land them -- improbably -- in the path of a tsunami or climate-related dangers.

Heat stroke is a constant worry this time of year so players should wear a hat, the guide advises, adding that parents should snap pictures of Pokemon-hunting kids for rescuers in case their young ones get lost.

"Dangerous places" should be avoided at all costs, and gamers should never meet up with someone who contacts them online because they could be a real-life monster, it cautions.

A caption featuring a pair of cartoon Wild West cowboys warns about robberies and other troubles that players elsewhere have recounted.

"There have been reports that players have gotten run over, fallen into water, gotten bitten by a snake or robbed," it added.

The list is the latest in a slew of warnings issued worldwide since the hugely popular smartphone app was launched two weeks ago.

It has already been blamed for a wave of crimes, traffic violations and complaints in cities around the globe.

Pokemon Go has been released in more than 30 countries and is expected to be launched imminently in Japan, where Nintendo created the franchise two decades ago.

The app challenges players armed with their smartphones to roam the real world in search of cartoon monsters to capture and train for battles.