Japan: Truck driver playing Pokémon Go kills pedestrian

The National Police Agency of Japan says this is the first death reported in Japan related to Pokemon Go.

A woman was killed and another was severely injured by a Japanese truck driver, who was playing Pokemon Go while driving, Japan's National Police Agency said on Wednesday.

The state broadcaster NHK said the Tokushima police arrested the suspected driver after the accident on the evening of Aug 24 due to negligent driving.

The police said the two women were walking across a zebra crossing when they were knocked down by the small truck. Yukiko Nakanishi, 72, died, while Kayoko Igawa, a part-time worker, was hospitalised for a broken hip, among other injuries.

The driver initially told the police that he was checking the time on his smartphone but later he admitted that he was playing Pokémon Go.

"I did not have clear sight of the road because I was playing Pokemon Go," the 39-year-old driver told the National Police Agency.

The agency also said that this is the first death reported in Japan that is related to the wildly popular augmented reality game.

The police said there have been 79 traffic accidents across Japan since the app was launched last month. More than 1,000 traffic infractions involving Pokemon Go players have been recorded so far.

Pokémon Go is a conventional "hide and seek" game where the players have to find virtual characters based on their real-world locations detected through their smartphones.

A spokesman for Niantic, which developed Pokémon Go jointly with Nintendo affiliate Pokémon Company, said the company was aware of the accident.

The spokesperson also said that earlier this month the company had added a pop-up to the Pokémon Go screen whenever it detected an increase in speed asking for confirmation the user was not driving.

The authorities worldwide have issued numerous warnings, urging players to be vigilant. They have warned players from walking into oncoming traffic, straying into restricted areas, or becoming victims of crimes.

A number of cases have been reported of people drowning in rivers, falling off cliffs and being shot dead for trespassing while searching for the creatures in different parts of the world.