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This Notorious Suicide Spot in Japan Is Seeing Fewer Deaths Thanks to Pokemon GO

While Pokemon GO has made global headlines thanks to distracted drivers and pedestrians causing accidents, in one part of Japan the mobile phenomenon may actually be saving lives.

Japan Today reports on an episode of Fuji Television’s “Mezamashi Terebi” morning show which covered Tojinbo in Fukui Prefecture. Located just north of Kyoto, the area is notorious for people committing suicide by jumping off the dramatic seaside cliffs.

Recently, however, the number of suicides has fallen, with some attributing Pokemon GO to the downward trend, the news source reports. The area around the cliffs, once desolate and remote, is now busy day and night with people chasing after Pokemon since a Pokestop, an in-game feature, is located nearby.

This steady foot traffic means that anyone who comes to the cliffs considering suicide is more likely to see people around them and potentially talk to them instead of jumping.

Not everyone, however, is convinced that the game is behind the decrease in suicides. J-Cast News (link in Japanese)reports that 2014 witnessed a five-year low of incidents in the area, well before Pokemon GO was unleashed. The source also shares that the local police department, while acknowledging that more people now visit the area, cannot confirm that the app has had any impact on preventing suicides.

[Photo via Flickr user Shoko Muraguchi]

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