Pokémon Go Is At The Center Of An International Incident Because Of Course It Is

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Japan, the original home of Pokémon, finally released the wildly popular Pokémon Go on Friday morning. But players from China, where the game isn’t out yet, have flooded the servers.Japan, the original home of Pokémon, finally released the wildly popular Pokémon Go on Friday morning. But players from China, where the game isn't out yet, have flooded the servers.

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This screenshot of a Dragonite — named “Long Live China!!!!” was posted on Reddit and immediately caused a huge stir.This screenshot of a Dragonite — named "Long Live China!!!!" was posted on Reddit and immediately caused a huge stir.

.It wasn’t just the name that got people riled, but the location of the gym it was placed over: the Yasukuni Shrine.

It wasn't just the name that got people riled, but the location of the gym it was placed over: the Yasukuni Shrine.

.China and Japan have a long and tumultuous history with each other, but most of their current problems go back to World War II, when Japan invaded China.

That history is why Yasukuni Shrine is so controversial. It’s where everyone who died while fighting for Japan, including in World War II, is honored and most people in China see it as offensive whenever Japanese leaders visit it.

The user who posted the screenshot to reddit said the offending Pokémon belonged to a group of Chinese players, who faked their GPS location to access the Japanese server, taking control of the gym as an act of patriotism.

BuzzFeed News reached out to the group of Chinese Pokémon Go players, who confirmed that they were accountable of the act and spoofed their GPS to explore the Japanese server.

BuzzFeed News reached out to the group of Chinese Pokémon Go players, who confirmed that they were accountable of the act and spoofed their GPS to explore the Japanese server.

. out the new Japanese server, and some in the group spotted Yasukuni Shrine by accident,” said a main group member, a 26-year-old Shanghai-based player named Yang. (Yang was only willing to be identified with his surname.) He went on to deny that taking over the gym was a patriotic act, saying it was a spur of the moment decision.

“We just wanted to play, we didn’t imagine the result” Yang said, referring to the explosion on social meadia, as thousands of Chinese people commented on Weibo. “You know what Yasukuni Shrine means to China,” added Yang, a foreign company post-sales representative, during the interview conducted in Mandarin over voice chat.

About fifty members of the group — whose “official” name is “CN_Pokémon Go” — “flew” to China via GPS manipulation during the trip that caused the stir.About fifty members of the group — whose "official" name is "CN_Pokémon Go" — "flew" to China via GPS manipulation during the trip that caused the stir.

A Chinese Reddit user guessed the method of the virtual trip to Japan: “all I know is that they use a cracked version with built-in GPS spoof function and a walk simulation function.” (Yang confirmed that was the case in his interview.)A Chinese Reddit user guessed the method of the virtual trip to Japan: "all I know is that they use a cracked version with built-in GPS spoof function and a walk simulation function." (Yang confirmed that was the case in his interview.)

Other players hope Niantic, the company that developed the game, will ban the Chinese spoofers.Other players hope Niantic, the company that developed the game, will ban the Chinese spoofers.

Meanwhile, on mainstream Chinese social media, the Pokémon trainers are being lauded. “Excuse me, do you still need girlfriend, the kind as patriotic as you?” asked a popular Weibo comment.Meanwhile, on mainstream Chinese social media, the Pokémon trainers are being lauded. "Excuse me, do you still need girlfriend, the kind as patriotic as you?" asked a popular Weibo comment.

“I almost picture my grandchild reading history textbooks depicting this national hero,” read another."I almost picture my grandchild reading history textbooks depicting this national hero," read another.

“This is the post-90s way [of patriotism], the old men and women wouldn’t know how to do it.”"This is the post-90s way [of patriotism], the old men and women wouldn't know how to do it."

But of course, not every Chinese player agreed. “This is a game, we are here to enjoy it and we don’t need this patriot shit,” said one redditor.But of course, not every Chinese player agreed. "This is a game, we are here to enjoy it and we don't need this patriot shit," said one redditor.

.Meanwhile in Japan, one Twitter user reacted by saying “I must beat this guy!”View image on Twitter

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