Kojima Productions has threatened legal action against those responsible for falsely linking veteran game designer Hideo Kojima to the assassination of Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. Tragically, Abe was assassinated on Friday last week when he was shot while delivering a campaign speech for the upcoming elections.
A suspect was arrested at the scene of the assassination and has even admitted to the shooting, though, social media posts started to circulate that the suspect allegedly struck a likeness to Kojima, which led to strange instances of misinformation. On the same day of the assassination, a far-right French politician, Damien Rieu, retweeted images of Hideo Kojima with the caption “The extreme left kills”.
The tweet has since been deleted and the Rieu has since issued an apology for his actions. in the tweet he wrote:
“I naively took a joke for information. I didn’t think we could make humor about the assassination of a man but I was wrong not to check before sharing. My apologies to Hideo Kojima and to the fans of Metal Gear.”
However, there were news outlets that ran with the false link, almost cementing its validity such as in Greece, when a news broadcast displayed the same images of Kojima as Rieu did while discussing the assassination of Shinzo Abe. Allegedly, an Iranian news agency also used the images of the Metal Gear creator when discussing the assassination.
Kojima Productions did not issue an immediate statement on the matter even after trending on Twitter with some 35 000 tweets discussing him alongside the assassination. However, on Saturday, Kojima Productions did state that they will be taking legal action against “some cases” of “fake news”.
“Kojima Productions strongly condemns the spread of fake news and rumors that convey false information. We do not tolerate such libel and will consider taking legal action in some cases.”
The actual suspect in the case of Shinzo Abe’s assassination is 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, which police tackled at the scene of the crime. Yamagami later confessed to the shooting, stating that he used a homemade firearm to perform the assassination, citing his reason for the murder was that he had a grudge against a “specific organisation”.
In a now deleted tweet, French far-right politician Damien Rieu accused the far-left of murdering Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and used photos of game developer Hideo Kojima instead of pictures of the current suspect Tetsuya Yamagami pic.twitter.com/2zpmL5kVnD
— Nox Dawn 🐸 (@NoxDawn) July 8, 2022