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Iwate taps Google’s Ingress to boost tourism
Since its official release worldwide as an Android app last December, Ingress has been downloaded more than 8 million times. Introduced as an iOS app on July 23 this year, the game has become a huge hit among smartphone users here. Google says that as of Monday, Japan was the third-ranked country in terms of the number of players. “By using ‘Ingress,’ we expect to publicize Iwate’s notable sightseeing spots and reconstruction sites (after the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami) that we want people to see,” prefectural government spokesman Kazuei Tamotsu said. After learning about the project, the game’s developer, Masa Kawashima, declared on Twitter that Google would fast-track efforts to increase the number of official portals in Iwate.