The Twitter account of Hideo KojimaKojima’s video game company Kojima Production released a statement condemning “fake news” on Saturday. The tweet follows Friday’s Tweet from far-right French politician Damien Rieu who falsely identified Kojima as the alleged killer of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The statement announced that the company may pursue legal avenues for the incident.
#KojimaProductions strongly condemns the dissemination of fake news and rumors conveying false information. We do not tolerate such defamation and will consider taking legal action in certain cases. pic.twitter.com/fDi0FR9kB0
— KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS (Eng) (@KojiPro2015_EN) July 9, 2022
#KojimaProductions strongly condemns the spread of fake news and rumors conveying false information. We do not tolerate such defamation and will consider taking legal action in certain cases.
The account shared the post in English and Japanese.
Rieu apologized for the Tweet. Rieu wrote: “I naively took a joke for information. I didn’t think anyone would make a joke about killing someone, but it was my fault for not checking the facts before I share. My apologies to #HideoKojima and #MetalGear.”
Rieu previously shared a Tweet claiming the far left was behind the assassination which took place during a campaign speech in Nara on Friday and included three photos of Hideo Kojima. Two of the photos showed Kojima with images of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. In one photo Kojima is carrying a tote bag with Guevara’s face on it and in another he is posing next to a framed piece of art.
The misidentification went beyond Rieu’s Tweet and onto Greek TV. A news segment on ANT1 TV Greece shared the same footage of Kojima, identifying him as the suspected killer. ANT1 TV Greece removed the video on Youtube Friday.
A viewer contacted Kotaku on the news segment and provided the following translation:
Tetsuya confessed his actions to the police, admitting that he wanted Abe dead because he was disappointed and angry with him. The police learned that he [the culprit] had served in the Navy Special Forces and taught a medical school unit on physical therapy for patients with dementia. He was passionate about Che Guevara.
It appears that “passion for Che Guevara” was inferred by news program staff based on Kojima’s footage. There have been no reports claiming that Tetsuya was or is a fan of the revolutionary. Kojima has not publicly responded to misrepresentations and news reports about his involvement in Abe’s death.
On Friday, police arrested suspect Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, who lives in Nara city, for Abe’s murder. NHK reported that Yamagami was a former member of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years until 2005. Reports said the weapon used in the attack appears to have been hand-made, but police do not has not yet confirmed if this is the case.
Rieu is the parliamentary assistant to far-right French MEP and National Rally member Philippe Olivier. Rieu was a founding member of the now closed anti-migrant group Generation Identity. The group participated in multiple stunts and violent attacks which led to the arrest of several members.