NAGOYA – A second death has been attributed to motorists playing the absorbing smartphone game “Pokemon Go.”
A Vietnamese woman in her 20s from Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture, died Thursday, just over two weeks after being hit by a car while riding a bicycle, police said Friday.
The first reported death was on Tuesday in the city of Tokushima, the National Police Agency said.
In the latest case, the driver, a worker in his 20s, told investigators he was looking away at the time of the collision as he was trying to charge his mobile phone. The battery was almost dead, he said, because he had been playing the game.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of negligence resulting in injury and was released. Police are now treating it as a case of negligence resulting in death.
A number of accidents linked to “Pokemon Go” have occurred since its release in Japan in July. The game encourages users to visit locations in search of virtual creatures that appear superimposed on their smartphone screens. Typical cases involve players getting so drawn into the game that they ignore their surroundings.
NPA figures on Tuesday showed that there were 79 bicycle and car accidents linked to playing the game since the game’s release in the country on July 22.
The incidents have spread throughout the nation, with accidents recorded in 29 of Japan’s 47 prefectures.