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