Uh, oh! Mr. Sato’s on a different kind of diplomatic mission…

Readers in Japan are probably painfully aware of what many in the U.S. may not have realized – Pokémon Go hasn’t been released in Japan yet! But that hasn’t stopped Mr. Sato from looking — here’s his firsthand account of just how far he went to try and catch ‘em all before anyone else.

Niantic hasn’t given a release date for Japan yet, but of course people are eager to play Pokemon Go as soon as possible. Especially yours truly, the RocketNews24 editorial staff in Japan. While there are many benefits to having an English version of the RocketNews24 site, there is one we never anticipated: being able to use our English writers’ accounts to download Pokémon Go immediately!

This was a fantastic idea until we figured out that because there isn’t any support for the game in Japan yet, we were still confined to a sad, Pokémon-less existence. But then we had another brilliant idea:  maybe if we went to a place related to the U.S. somehow, we might find a Pokémon! 


Thus, we made haste to the American Embassy. But who could have anticipated what happened next?!


I had no real reason to think that there would be any Pokémon there. In fact, I figured the odds of finding anything before the actual launch of the game in Japan to be about zero. However, other countries have already started playing the game and it’s a given that the expats living in Japan would also be eager to play. Since Pokémon Go is all the rage in the U.S. right now, though, I wondered if there might be the oh-so-slightest possibility of finding even just 1 Pokémon at the American Embassy.

Unreasonably high hopes and unrealistic expectations in place, I hopped into my pal Yoshio’s car and we sped off.


Thanks to Yoshio’s responsible adherence to traffic laws and concern for the general welfare and safety of both passengers and passersby, it took an unbearably long 15 minutes to reach our destination. Looming before us, behind a wall, appeared to be the American Embassy.


The police were out in full force and, boy, did they look like they meant business! I wondered what to tell them if they stopped me, maybe, “Uh, hello Mr. Police Officer, I’m just here looking for some Pokémon…”

I alighted from the car and Yoshio took the opportunity to flee the scene – er, I mean, park the car.  Thus the hunt began!


I made my way around the outside of the embassy, on the prowl for a Pikachu.


And I got nothin’. Dang. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t even a single one here! I began to wonder if I might find one near an American military base. As I stood there mumbling to myself, a police officer appeared!

The following is an unofficial transcript of my subsequent interrogation:

Police Officer (pointing at my cellphone):  What seems to be the matter here? Is that a map you’re looking at?

Me: Ah…ah..hahaha….uh, no, it’s an app. I’m trying to find some Pokémon with the Pokémon Go app….

Police Officer (looking rather stunned):  Uh, huh. Okay.  Well, when you are walking around in this area, you need to make sure you let someone know.

Me:  Understood. I’m very sorry.

Police Officer:  Now, if you will excuse me…

I got the impression that the police office was aware of Pokémon Go, and he seemed to be telling me that I needed to leave. His expression continued to show considerable amazement.  

I may not have found anything this time around, but I was able to confirm at least one thing: that Pokémon Go seems to have made its way into the police force, as well.

This game really is something else.

Photos © RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]