In the Japanese prefectures hit hardest by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster, game developers Niantic Labs and the local governments of Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, and Kumamoto are launching a Pokémon GO collaboration to promote tourism in these areas. The project, announced at a press conference on Wednesday (August 10th), has three goals: encouraging cultural exchange by adding PokéStops and gyms at sightseeing spots, then drawing up routes between them, and finally holding an event to tie the four prefectures together.

Planned to open this fall, but on differing dates depending on the budget of each prefecture, the conference announcing the initiative can be watched in full below via news website The Page.

When Pokémon GO first launched in Japan on July 21st, Niantic struck up a partnership with McDonald’s Holdings Co., agreeing to make McDonald’s restaurants across the country key locations in the game. Internationally, businesses big and small have been noticing increased sales due to foot traffic from the game, so it looks hopeful that this new project will be a success for those areas that were ravaged by the Tohoku earthquake.


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