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Rare Pokemon triggers pedestrian turmoil in Tokyo

A rare Pokemon appeared in the popular mobile game Pokemon Go in the Odaiba area of Tokyo's Minato Ward on Sept. 18, causing players to go wild and disrupt traffic.

    Several hundred players flocked to Odaiba to try to catch the rare game character, obstructing roadways and causing other problems, the Tokyo Wangan Police Station told the Mainichi Shimbun. It is believed that news of the rare Pokemon Lapras appearing in Odaiba quickly spread over the internet on Sept 18, leading players who hoped to catch the Pokemon to flood the area.

    Tokyo Wangan Police Station said it began receiving numerous 110 calls from local residents and passersby at roughly 3:30 p.m., with one reporting that "the roads are overflowing with people and the situation is getting dangerous."

    With their gaze fixed on their smartphones, several hundred people ignored traffic lights and sprawled onto roads. Some also tried to walk onto the Rainbow Bridge. The turmoil forced police to implement traffic control and other countermeasures.

    Police station officials met with representatives of Niantic, Inc., which operates the Pokemon Go game, on Sept. 20 to request that the company further emphasize to its users the importance of following rules during game play.

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