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Three Traffic Deaths in Japan Due to Playing Pokeman Go While Driving

Since it was released in Japan in July 22, 2016, Pokemon Go has joined the list of traffic death causes. Three deaths have been registered due to careless drivers playing the game while driving.

A Vietnamese woman aged 29 died in a hospital on August 25, two weeks after she had been hit by a car whose driver was playing the game.

A 39-year old farmer killed 72-year-old Sachiko Nakanishi and caused extensive injuries to Kayoko Ikawa, 60, in the city of Tokushima on August 23.

Then last Wednesday, nine-year-old son Keita Noritake was hit by a lorry driven by Nobusuke Kawai, 36, when on his way home from school with his brother. 

Keita’s father made an emotional plea for Pokemon Go to be rendered inoperable for anyone driving a vehicle.

“Keita had both hopes and dreams”, Mr Noritake said at a press conference. “What kind of world do we live in where a child who abided by the traffic rules has to die?”

Keiji Goo, the 39-year-old farmer who killed the pensioner while playing Pokemon Go was given a 14-month prison term, a sentence that was criticised as being unduly lenient. Prosecutors had demanded 20 months.

The conviction is the first in Japan linked to the hugely popular online game, although at least two more cases are pending.


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