About a month after the Japan release of the “Pokemon Go” smartphone game app, 553 minors had been taken into protective custody in Tokyo by the Metropolitan Police Department in relation to the game, according to investigative sources.
The police intend to continue to patrol the busy streets in September after school summer vacations end, the sources said.
According to MPD officials, the number of children who play “Pokemon Go” late at night in parks and on busy streets in central Tokyo has rapidly increased since the game app became available on July 22.
Police took 449 minors into protective custody by the end of the month for misconduct such as loitering between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m, defined as “the middle of the night” by a metropolitan ordinance.
Reflecting a calming of the “Pokemon Go” boom, the number of minors taken into protective custody was just 104 during the four weeks from Aug. 1 to 28, the sources said.
However, notable recent cases include ones in which high school students gather in groups at locations that have been identified online as places where rare Pokemon appear, and continue to play the game deep into the night.
When minors taken into protective custody are categorized by age, the number of 17-year-olds ranks first at 195, followed by 16-year-olds at 134 and 15-year-olds at 106.
Source: Yomiuri Image: NNN