Japan warns on Pokemon GO safety as impatient gamers await launch


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A woman using a mobile phone walks past a shop selling Pokemon goods in Tokyo, Japan July 20, 2016. A woman using a mobile phone walks past a shop selling Pokemon goods in Tokyo, Japan July 20, 2016.
Gamers in Japan, home of Nintendo's Pokemon, are still impatiently awaiting the launch of the smash-hit Pokemon GO game but the government is already preparing for an invasion of little cartoon monsters, issuing a safety warning.
A woman holds a shopping bag of Pokemon in Tokyo's Akihabara district, Japan July 20, 2016.
The country's National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) issued nine instructions to users of the mobile game, ranging from advising them not to use their real names to warning gamers over fake apps.
It is rare for NISC to issue an advisory over specific games, but Japan is just the latest government to do so over Pokemon GO, a game where users chase cuddly cartoon monsters in their real-life neighborhoods.
NISC, which said it put its warning out on Twitter and Line, also cautioned gamers over the risk of heat stroke while playing in Japan's sweltering summer sun, and told players not to wander into dangerous sites.
Just days after the launch, police in the United States were issuing warnings after a dozen victims in Missouri were lured into armed robberies, and dozens more suffered minor injuries from tripping over while looking for Pokemon.
Customers look at goods of Pokemon at a shop in Tokyo, Japan July 20, 2016.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday the government was aware that there were concerns about safety when people play Pokemon GO.
"I would like people to follow the advisory the government issued to use smartphones safely," he told a news conference on Thursday.
Pokemon GO has been an incredible success since its launch in a handful of countries earlier this month, now with more daily users that Twitter.
The Japanese launch is expected imminently. Nintendo has not commented on the launch date.

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