Fukushima to Use Rare Pokemon to Lure Tourists Back

Japan is planning to use Pokemon Go to lure tourists back to its quake hit regions, including in the radiation affected prefecture of Fukushima.
(Article by SBS News)

Officials for four prefectures in Japan have announced they are partnering with the Japanese subsidiary of Niantic, the US company behind the Pokemon Go game.

They hope that creating virtual attractions in the popular location-based game will help draw people back to the natural disaster affected areas.

Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures are located in the north of the country and were heavily impacted by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Kumamoto, located in southern Japan, suffered a series of earthquakes in April this year.

epa02636333 A handout image made available 16 March 2011 by Japanese Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), showing the destruction and white smoke from reactor block 3 (L) and remains of reactor block number 4 (R), after both blocks suffered heavy damage following explosions. White smoke was seen rising from reactor number 3 at the plant in Fukushima that is home to six reactors after a fire broke out for a second day at reactor number 4. About 50 workers remained at the plant to try to cool down the reactors. Radioactive emissions at the plant reached record levels overnight. The inner shell of a quake- and tsunami-damaged nuclear reactor in Japan might be damaged and radiation was so high there that employees were ordered out of the complex, the government‘s top spokesman Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.  EPA/TEPCO/HANDOUT  EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

A handout image made available 16 March 2011 by Japanese Fukushima nuclear plant operator TEPCO. (AAP)

The game is already live in Japan, but players would find extra goodies in the four prefectures under the plan.

Game-makers will add more PokeStops – places where treasured items can be found, and more Pokemon Gyms – locations where people can meet and send their captured monsters into battle.

Officials say they will also place more rare Pokemon in the areas for players to hunt.

Tourism promotions say that less than 10 per cent  of Fukushima is affected by radiation exclusion zones, insisting that other areas are safe to visit.

Officials in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima have also been planning ‘recovery tours’ in which guides take visitors to sites affected by the disasters.

But there are limits.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, TEPCO, reportedly had to request game developers to prevent Pokemon from spawning in radiation affected areas of Fukushima, to avoid drawing players into hazardous areas.

Nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered meltdowns as a result of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and TEPCO says they recently found Pokemon at the site.

Read more at: sbs.com.au

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