Today, the Japanese government issued a state of emergency across its Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures, urging people to practice social distancing to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Junichi Masuda, director of Pokémon developer Game Freak, has now commented on the situation on social media.
In a tweet shared to his 395,000+ followers today, Masuda urges fans to stay safe and well at home while reassuring them that Pokémon staff will 'stay connected'. Game Freak's headquarters is located in Tokyo, one of the areas affected by the government's declaration.
Masuda's full message can be seen below, with translation provided by Nintendo Life contributor, Robert Sephazon:
"A state of emergency was declared in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka. If left unchecked, 80,000 people will be infected within a month. Pokémon staff across the world have made staying connected a reality. Work and enjoy your time at home."
Earlier today, it was announced that Japanese video game rating organisation CERO has been forced to temporarily close as a result of the declaration. The closure is expected to impact the release schedule of games from this summer and beyond.