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Real-life 'Pokemon Go' event in Kyoto canceled amid coronavirus surge in Japan

The Tottori Sand Dunes in the city of Tottori are seen overflowing with "Pokemon Go" players during a real-life event held on Nov. 24, 2017. (Mainichi/Ayami Abe)

KYOTO -- A real-life "Pokemon Go" event scheduled to be held in this western Japan city on Nov. 22 has been canceled following a surge in coronavirus infections across the country.

    Niantic Inc., which operates the location-based smartphone game, made the announcement on Nov. 19, the same day Japan's capital recorded a new single-day high of 500-plus new coronavirus infections.

    The number of new infections per day in Kyoto Prefecture reached a record high of 49 on Nov. 17, of which 40 were in the prefectural capital city of Kyoto.

    "Pokemon Go City Spotlight" was scheduled to be held in four cities around the world and Kyoto was the only venue selected in Japan. Since the event was meant to be held during a three-day weekend in Japan amid the autumn leaves season, there were concerns that players and tourists would cause crowds throughout the city.

    Niantic will give refunds to those who purchased tickets for special events as part of the program. The real-life "Pokemon Go" event will be held as scheduled in Busan in South Korea, Auckland in New Zealand and Tainan in Taiwan.

    (Japanese original by Hiroshi Odanaka, Kyoto Bureau)

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