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Niantic launches new program assisting Japanese small businesses for 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake

For the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which devastated the Tohoku region prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, Niantic has this week launched a new program in a similar vein to the Local Business Recovery Initiative the company launched last October to assist businesses and communities who had been hit hard by COVID.

In collaboration with local governments and inisitutions of Iwata, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures, the Rediscovering Memories and Local Business program will give one hundred store owners from each prefecture the opportunity to appear as PokéStops or Gyms in Pokémon GO for free for a period of six months. The intention of this project is to encourage people to explore, learn about and support local businesses and communities, many of which are to this day still struggling to recover due to struggling local economies post-earthquake and tsunami.

This is not the first time Niantic has collaborated with these prefectures in order to help their recovery, with projects intended to assist tourism growth having run in both 2016 and 2019.