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Thursday, 11th August 2016
In Japan Entertainment News,

Pokemon Go helps boost disaster-struck regions of Japan

Pokemon Go could spell hope for four prefectures in Japan that experienced large amounts of damage due to earthquakes that hit in April.

Regions in the northeast and southwest of the country are counting on the excitement associated with the mobile game to attract tourists.

Officials from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures in the Tohoku region and Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu believe that Pokemon Go could help with their rebuilding efforts.

Plans are being put together by the four prefectures to work with the Japanese arm of the Niantic developer, which is responsible for Pokemon Go.

This could allow them to see more tourist destinations across the regions made into Pokestops, where the pocket monsters can be collected; and gyms, where they can undertake battles.

Yoshihiro Murai, governor of Miyagi, told Japan Today: “I hope young people [playing Pokemon Go] will have the opportunity to understand the reality facing the disaster-hit prefectures.”

Pokemon Go, which uses GPS technology to superimpose Pokemon onto real locations, has proved very popular since it was launched in Japan in July.

It is seeing more people getting out and about and visiting places they wouldn’t normally travel to in an attempt to find rare Pokemon and “catch ‘em all”.

This represents a big opportunity for the areas of Japan that were devastated by earthquakes earlier in the year, as increased visitors means more money from tourists coming into the regions.

The Japanese government has, however, released safety warnings to remind people not become too distracted by the game when using their smartphones in crowded places or locations with added dangers, such as cliffs or water.

It seems that a balance needs to be struck between the benefits that Pokemon Go could bring and the potential problems associated with it.