• Kyodo


A driver in the first vehicle fatality in Japan linked to playing the popular smartphone game “Pokemon Go” was sentenced Monday to 14 months in prison.

Keiji Goo, a 39-year-old farmer, was convicted of negligence resulting in death and injury. While he was playing the game, his van fatally struck a 72-year-old woman and seriously injured another woman when the two crossed a road in the city of Tokushima on Aug. 23.

Goo, wearing a suit, stood straight while listening to the ruling in the Tokushima District Court. There were sounds of crying from the gallery, apparently from the relatives of the victims.

Goo’s defense team said he is not planning to appeal the ruling.

Presiding Judge Tomoya Arai said Goo’s negligence was grave, as he failed to notice the victims on a straight road.

The prosecutors had sought 20 months in prison.

Since the incident involving Goo, there have been two other fatal car accidents caused by drivers playing the game in Japan, according to the National Police Agency.

In one accident, a Vietnamese woman in her 20s died on Aug. 11, while in the other a 9-year-old Japanese boy was killed last Wednesday, both in Aichi Prefecture.

The smartphone game was released in Japan on July 22.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.