Pokémon Go Launches Campaign to Attract Tourists to Quake-Hit Japanese Prefectures
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
The local governments of Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, and Kumamoto prefectures, as well as game developer Niantic Labs, announced at a Wednesday press conference that they will launch a collaboration project with Niantic's Pokémon Go game to promote more tourism. These prefectures were the ones hardest hit by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami disaster of March 11, 2011.
The project will have three objectives: to promote tourism and cultural exchange by adding PokéStops and gyms at sightseeing spots; to draw up route maps between these PokéStops and gyms; and to open an event to tie together the four prefectures. The project will begin this fall, but on different dates depending on the budget of each prefecture.
News website The Page is streaming a video of the entire press conference.
When the game launched in Japan on July 21, the developers began a partnership with McDonald's Holdings Co. to make McDonald's restaurants in Japan key locations in the game. Various businesses have reported sales due to foot traffic from Pokémon Go, and other businesses have sought a way to be added to the game.
Niantic recently disabled the game from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. On the other hand, theaters in the Toho Cinemas chain will be PokéStops in Japan.
The Pokémon Go app launched in select countries including the United States on July 6, and has since launched in more than 50 countries.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history