HIDEO Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, and Death Stranding, has been falsely accused of the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.
French politician Damien Rieu tweeted out pictures of Kojima, seen with images of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, writing “The far-left kills”.
He also retweeted another account falsely claiming Kojima is a ‘far-left activist’ called Samyuero Hydeo and the assassin of Abe.
He has since deleted the tweets and apologised for the mistake.
As translated by GLHF:
“I naively mistook a joke for the truth. I didn’t think someone would joke about a man’s assassination, but I should have verified it before sharing.
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“My apologies to Hideo Kojima, and the fans of Metal Gear.”
Unfortunately, the misinformation had already spread.
Despite owning footage of the real suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, Greek news channel, Ant1 News, featured stills of Kojima, falsely claiming he was the killer.
A Resetera poster also shared an image supposedly from an Iranian news source, which used images of Kojima alongside news of the assassination.
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On July 9. Kojima’s studio, Kojima Productions, issued a statement simultaneously on both its English and Japanese Twitter accounts.
Neither statement refers specifically to any articles sharing Kojima’s image in connection to the assassination.
However, both condemn “fake news and rumours that convey false information”.
The second line of the Japanese statement refers only to the “regrettable consequences” of such actions which damages “individual’s dignity”.
While this could be referring to Kojima, it is more likely a comment expressing how these rumours are disrespectful to the memory of the former Prime Minister.
The English statement is more hardline when discussing the repercussions for outlets sharing fake news.
Instead of merely expressing regret, the tweet reads, “We do not tolerate such libel and will consider taking legal action in some cases.”
The statement doesn’t name any person or outlet which would be the subject of the lawsuit, or if Kojima Productions will follow up on its considerations.
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Yamagami was apprehended at the scene of the assassination in Nara holding a homemade shotgun.
He has since confessed to the crime.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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