After weeks of complaints from historical sites and other sensitive locations, Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs has begun honoring requests to shut down the game in places where one might consider it gauche to hunt for Pokémon.
This past weekend, the city of Hiroshima, Japan, held its 71st annual memorial service for the victims of the atomic bomb that the U.S. dropped on the city in 1945. The Associated Press reports that Hiroshima officials had asked Niantic to remove Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park from Pokémon Go before the weekend.
“We consider the park a sacred place where we pray for the victims of the atomic bombings,” city official Tatsumi Sumida told the AP.
Pokémon Go players, historical sites are asking people to have respect, put the game away
Although PokéStops and Gyms disappeared by Thursday, people were still able to find and catch Pokémon in the park. The city did not receive confirmation from Niantic until 1:56 a.m. Aug. 6 — the day of the memorial ceremony — that the pocket monster menace was gone from the area.
Shortly after Pokémon Go’s launch a month ago, solemn places like the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia began asking visitors to stop playing the game.
“We do not consider playing ‘Pokemon Go’ to be appropriate decorum on the grounds of [Arlington National Cemetery],” the organization wrote on Twitter. Niantic has since disabled Pokémon Go at the Holocaust Museum, according to the AP.
In a statement to Polygon, Niantic said that anybody who runs any private property, or a place that might serve as a “potentially inappropriate PokéStop or Gym,” can request removal on the game’s support website. The company added that it is “moving quickly to review all such requests.”