Pokemon GO only launched in Japan a few days ago, and yet the headlines are already full of Pokemon-related stories.
One of the most read stories on Yahoo! Japan today was a story of a man accused of assaulting a woman while she was playing Pokemon GO in Shibuya, Tokyo. The man claimed she was trying to secretly photograph him, while the woman was just trying to catch a rare Pokemon.
The incident may seem trivial, but it has really riled up netizens, with many raising the familiar point that Japanese women have it too easy.
Could Pokemon GO trigger a Japanese gender war? Probably not. But the way the story has been received seems to underscore the current trend of online misogyny, both in Japan and beyond.
From Asahi Shimbun:
Woman Assaulted While Playing Pokemon GO; Man Arrested At Scene
Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested a man (27) from Chiba Prefecture for grabbing the arm of a woman on the street while she was playing the smartphone game “Pokemon GO”. The man denied the allegations, stating “I didn’t do it”.
According to the Shibuya division of the Metropolitan Police, the man is said to have grabbed the right arm of a woman in her 20s on a street in Shibuya’s Dogenzaka 2 chome at around 9:30pm on July 23. When the woman recorded the street scene on her phone screen as she was playing Pokemon GO, the man threatened her, saying “Hey, you just took a photo of me! Delete it!”.
They two did not know each other prior to the incident. A passerby who was in the vicinity of the woman reported it by calling 110, and police rushed to the scene. The woman told police that “A rare Pokemon appeared, and so I was just taking a photo of it”.
Comments from Yahoo! Japan:
碓井真史: [Expert comment]
Professor of Social Psychology at the Department of Clinical Psychology, Graduate Institute of Niigata Seiryo University.
Pokemon GO is a very attractive game, but because there are times when you take photographs in public there is a danger that you may be mistaken for someone taking a photograph without permission.
In order to have fun playing Pokemon GO, you must play with manners and the law in mind. And you also need to be a communicator. You have to have consideration and sympathy for others.
Even if you are not taking a photograph without permission, there must be a lot of people who’d feel uncomfortable having a camera lens pointed toward them. They would question the manners of the user.
We don’t know all the details of this incident, but still in general assault is frowned upon. If you feel uncomfortable and lose your temper, that’s a communication problem.
You can’t play Pokemon GO holed up in your room. That’s what’s enjoyable about it, and that’s why in some ways it is good for mental health. But that’s also why there will be times when trouble arises because someone has made a mistake.
Well if he was a woman this would definitely be seen as taking a photo without permission.
Feel sorry for the guy.
They’re both to blame.
The woman said “A rare Pokemon appeared, and so I was just taking a photo of it”.
If the situation were reversed and the woman had been the one in the photograph that a man had taken, then the man would have been arrested.
Our society is really soft on women!
I think that the woman is also a problem for having just taken a photo because it suited her.
If it had been the man doing it, then he’d been arrested as a bonus if she’d caught him.
Looks like the number of people getting out of taking photographs without permission because they say they’re playing Pokemon GO is going to rise.
Peeping Toms are gonna use this as an excuse for sure.
Ban Pokemon GO!!
I wonder what Tajima Yoko makes of this problem?
Even if it’s wrong to grab someone’s arm, on the other hand it seems inevitable that the person who took the photo should have been taken away by the cops.
Comments from 2ch.net:
Guess he thought she was spying on him.
Come on, isn’t that guy just mentally ill or something?
If the man had been the one taking the photo this would be an incident about him getting arrested.
I knew something like this would happen w
That’s why people shouldn’t use the augmented reality feature. Just make your screen into a picture.
This tragedy only occurred because the poor guy looks like a pokemon.
Clearly just some mentalist who’s ultra self-conscious.
Guess he seemed a bit funny.
Has this guy had some trauma in the past?
Guess he’s just someone who’s too self conscious.
Woman: “OMG an exeggcute!”