• Kyodo

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The ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Tuesday it will study how to prevent traffic accidents caused by drivers playing the popular smartphone game “Pokemon Go” following several recent deaths.

At a meeting of an LDP panel on traffic safety, lawmakers proposed imposing severe penalties on drivers using a smartphone.

According to the National Police Agency, three deaths linked to “Pokemon Go” driving have been reported since the game was released in Japan in late July.

In one of the accidents, a 9-year-old boy was struck last month by a truck driver who was playing the game behind the wheel in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture.

Under the current traffic law, drivers who pose a danger by operating a phone while driving can be jailed for up to three months or fined a maximum ¥50,000.

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