Developer of Nintendo’s Pokemon GO aiming for rollout to 200 markets soon

The game, which marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality, has taken the world by storm despite having been launched in only five countries – the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Germany.

“Why limit it?” John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, which developed Pokemon GO jointly with Nintendo affiliate Pokemon Company, said in an interview with Reuters.

He declined to go into a detailed time frame for further rollouts but noted that the company’s first location-based augmented reality game Ingress had taken a month or two to reach that number of markets.

His comments helped Nintendo shares on Friday surge another 10%, setting a record in daily trading volume for an individual stock on the Tokyo bourse. The shares have climbed 86% in just over a week, adding $17 billion in market value.

He confirmed that the game would soon be coming to Japan and that he expects “ultimately to launch” the game in South Korea, where Google’s mapping functions are restricted due to security issues with North Korea.

Hanke said Niantic, which was spun off from Google last year, is working on the mapping issue. “There are solutions to that,” he said.

A UNESCO committee on Sunday added the main building of the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo and 16 other buildings designed by French architect Le Corbusier to the world body’s list of cultural heritage sites. (Jiji Press)

The head of the developer behind Nintendo Co Ltd’s Pokemon GO says he wants to launch the smash-hit mobile game in roughly 200 countries and regions “relatively soon” and was working on bolstering server capacity to enable the wider rollout. (Japan Today)

Two women were killed by an express train in Ishii, Tokushima Prefecture, police said Sunday. (Japan Today)

Nine beaches in Ibaraki Prefecture were reopened to the public over the weekend after being closed a year ago due to repeated shark sightings. (Japan Today)

Police served a further arrest warrant Sunday on a 16-year-old boy in Ibaraki Prefecture for allegedly killing a woman by repeatedly stabbing her. (Japan Today)

Japan’s Education Minister Hiroshi Hase says the government is pleased that UNESCO has recognized buildings designed by Le Corbusier as important assets from the 20th century. (NHK)

In the years immediately following the war, the school lunch program adopted in Japan’s public schools spawned a generation of well-nourished children, and must be credited at least in part for helping to double life expectancy figures since 1945. (Japan Today)

A moderately strong earthquake rattled the Tokyo region on Sunday afternoon, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. (Japan Today)

Tottori Prefectural Police have discovered an infant at the residence of a 35-year-old woman who is already in custody for dumping the body of another baby, reports the Nihonkai Shimbun (July 16). (Tokyo Reporter)

A man claiming to have escaped North Korea was found wandering Saturday in Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan, police and government officials said. (Japan Today)

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