Hiroshima unhappy atomic-bomb park is ‘Pokemon Go’ site

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2015 file photo, Kazumi Matsui, right, mayor of Hiroshima, and the family of the deceased bow before they place the victims list of the Atomic Bomb at Hiroshima Memorial Cenotaph during the ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan. Hiroshima city has asked the developer of “Pokemon Go” to remove the atomic bomb memorial park as a “gym” location in the popular smartphone game. The city made the request Tuesday, July 26, 2016. It is asking game developer Niantic Inc. to delete the park from the game by Aug. 6, when an annual ceremony is held to remember those who died in the 1945 bombing. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

TOKYO (AP) — “Pokemon Go” players are descending on an atomic bomb memorial park in Hiroshima, and officials of the western Japanese city are displeased.

They have asked game developer Niantic Inc. to remove the “Pokestops” and other virtual sites that show up in the park for those playing the augmented reality game. The city wants them deleted by Aug. 6, the anniversary of the 1945 bombing and the date of an annual ceremony to remember the victims.

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Niantic declined to comment, saying it would not make public any discussions with a third party.

The expansive Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is meant as a solemn memorial to the victims. It has become a draw for players since the Japan release of the addictive smartphone game last Friday.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and nearby Arlington National Cemetery have made similar requests to Niantic.

It is unclear if and how the game developer will respond. Niantic offers a form to request exclusions, but it’s neither automatic nor guaranteed.

The location-aware app gives digital rewards for visiting real places that have been designated “Pokestops” and “Gyms” in the game.

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