Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sentence in Japan's first Pokemon Go death criticized as too lenient

A Japanese man found guilty of killing a pensioner while driving and playing the Pokemon Go game on a mobile phone has been given a 14-month prison term, a sentence that was immediately criticized as being unduly lenient.
Keiji Goo, a 39-year-old farmer, was convicted on Monday of negligence resulting in the death of 72-year-old Sachiko Nakanishi and for causing extensive injuries to Kayoko Ikawa, 60, in the city of Tokushima on August 23.

"He was driving while looking at the game screen on and off and his negligence is extremely serious", the judge, Tomoya Arai, said in his ruling at the Tokushima District Court, the Mainichi newspaper reported.
Online commentators were swift to express their anger at the sentence, which was significantly less than the 20 months demanded by prosecutors.
One posted on the Japan Today website criticized the sentence as "obscene", while another said she is "extra careful when I'm with my kids when walking around, just because some guys play that game."
The conviction is the first in Japan linked to the hugely popular online game, which was released in the country on July 22, although at least two more cases are pending after two more fatal accidents caused by drivers playing the game at the wheel.
A Vietnamese woman aged 29 died in hospital on August 25, two weeks after she had been hit by a car in Aichi Prefecture.
On Friday, two days after the death of his nine-year-old son Keita, Takatoshi Noritake made an emotional plea for Pokemon Go to be rendered inoperable for anyone driving a vehicle.

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