Hideo Kojima’s game studio has issued a response after false messages circulated on social media and media that wrongly identified Kojima as the assassin of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In a tweetKojima Productions says it “strongly condemns the spread of false news and rumors that convey false information” and “will consider taking legal action in some cases.”
Friday, a man shot and killed Abe during his speech at a political campaign rally. Police captured the shooter at the scene, who was later identified as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami.
Shortly after the incident, an internet troll on 4chan posted a racist image which connects Kojima’s face to that of the shooter (Going through PC Gamer). Another user replied to the post with three additional photos of Kojima that show the metal gear and Death Stranding designer in a Soviet cap, as well as posing with images of the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara.
french actor Georges Jordito later shared these images on Twitter as part of a now-deleted “satirical” post that said the culprit was Japanese soccer star Keisuke Honda. However, Damien Rieu, a far-right French politician associated with the country’s nationalist movement, took it seriously and tweeted images of Kojima with the text translated as: “The extreme left kills”. As pointed out Vicethe images were later retrieved by Greek and the Iranian media who mistakenly used the footage in their coverage of the assassination.
Rieu has since deleted his tweet and apologized to Kojima, noting “I naively took a joke for information.” The Greek outlet, which included an image of Kojima in a broadcast, removed its segment from YouTube, while the Iranian newspaper also corrected the image he used in his report.