WILD PIKACHU APPEARS! by Sadie Hernandez via flickr

Soon it may become illegal to take any photos from “hidden cameras” in Shiga Prefecture, which may mean a ban on catching Pokémon with your smart phones – Nooooo!!!

If you live in Shiga Prefecture your painful wait for the release of Pokémon GO in Japan may have just got a little bit more painful.

Shiga Prefectural Police have announced they are moving to strengthen laws related to hidden cameras (including cell phone cameras) and are calling for public comments.

The current laws are specifically for “public places” such as train stations and parks where a lot of people gather but the police are now looking to expand the jurisdiction of these laws banning hidden cameras to include other specific areas where “many people gather”.

▼ The Shiga Prefectural Police Homepage

Screen shot 2016-07-15 at 7.10.36 PM

At present, it is difficult for the police to charge people for taking “hidden” photos in public without evidence that these people are taking “upskirt” photos. The police are therefore aiming to tighten the laws to include the banning of simply using hidden cameras in public places and pointing hidden cameras at other people.

The Shiga Prefectural Police have said they wish to quickly reform laws in line with the “miniaturization of cameras” and “increasing sophistication of hidden photographing”.

But what about pointing a hidden camera at a Pokémon? It seems as if you could be putting yourself at risk by playing Pokémon GO in Shiga Prefecture if these new laws pass. It’s not exactly clear what the impact would be, but Pokémon lovers will be praying the police and politicians develop policy that won’t entirely preclude the use of hidden cameras in public places — or at least make exceptions for catching Pocket Monsters!


If you want to have your say about the new proposed laws you can submit your own public comment to the Shiga Prefectural Police – although you should do so in Japanese.

The homepage gives three options for public comment submissions:

Post address: 〒520-8501  滋賀県警察本部生活安全企画課企画係(条例改正担当)
Fax: 077-522-1252
Email: pa1101@pref.shiga.lg.jp

Sources: Jin115, Sankei Newspaper, Shiga Prefectural Police Homepage
Top image: Flickr/Sadiediane
Insert images: Shiga Prefectural Police HomepagePokémon GO Homepage