‘Pokemon Go’ debuts in Japan

The “Pokemon Go” craze has led to a host of troublesome incidents overseas, including accidents involving people playing the game while walking. The Japanese government is even calling for players to pay attention to safety.

The “Pokemon Go” developers include The Pokemon Company, an affiliate of Nintendo Co.

Using the location information in smartphones, the game allows players to search for and catch Pokemon characters that appear at specific locations on a map linked to the real world. Players then use the characters in battles against other players.

Downloading the application is free of charge, but in-game items are available for purchase, including tools that make it easier to capture Pokemon characters.

The app has been available overseas – including the United States and European countries – since early July. Japan is the 36th country where the game has been released.

According to a U.S. research firm, the number of people playing “Pokemon Go” in the United States reached about 23 million per day, a record high for a smartphone game.

Smartphone game “Pokemon Go” made its debut in Japan on Friday morning. The app – which was distributed in Western markets prior to its release in Japan and surged in popularity – is also likely to be a big hit in the country that gave life to Pokemon. (the-japan-news.com)

“Pokemon Go” was launched in Japan on Friday. The government is warning players of the global hit game to be careful to avoid accidents. (NHK)

The Japanese land ministry has decided to set up a program to allow vacant homes across Japan to be rented out to older people and low-income child-rearing families, informed sources said Friday. (Jiji Press)

The Japanese government resumed the construction of helipads for the U.S. military in Okinawa on Friday despite local protests, in preparation for the return to Japan of part of a large training area in the island prefecture.
(Japan Today)

The Japan launch of Pokemon Go on Friday included the game’s first partnership with an outside company: fast-food giant McDonald’s. (Japan Today)

Japan’s Supreme court rejected Thursday an appeal against a lower court decision to give the death sentence to a 31-year-old man for the murder of two family members of a former girlfriend in a high-profile stalking case in 2011. (Jiji Press)

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested an American youth in the sale of marijuana to students from an international school at a park in Shibuya Ward, reports TV Asahi (July 21). (Tokyo Reporter)

At least 80 rental condominiums operated by the Urban Renaissance Agency (UR) were misused by tenants as minpaku rental facilities, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. (the-japan-news.com)

Is Honda’s walking robot Asimo marrying Pepper, the chattering robot from SoftBank? (Japan Today)

Police in Yuki, Ibaraki Prefecture, said Thursday they have arrested an unemployed 44-year-old man on suspicion of killing his 75-year-old mother at their residence. (Japan Today)

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