Hideo Kojima threatens legal action after ‘fake news’ link to Shinzo Abe death

Game developer Kojima Productions is angry after photos of founder Hideo Kojima were used to illustrate the death of former PM Shinzo Abe.

The assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has not only shocked the world but will undoubtedly have grave repercussions on future politics in Japan.

And yet already the issue has been trivialised by various online figures and news agencies implying that the assassin was Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, with multiple outlets using photos of the developer to illustrate their stories.

It’s unclear where exactly the confusion began but one of the first to use images of Kojima was far-right French politician Damien Rieu, who used photographs of Kojima with a Che Guevara poster and bag to say “L’extrême-gauche tue” [The extreme-left kills].

When the bizarre allegation was pointed out Rieu issued an apology, to Hideo Kojima and ‘fans of Metal Gear’, and claimed that ‘I naively took a joke for information’.

This suggests that the original source was likely a meme on 4chan or a similar forum, as shortly after a Greek news broadcast started by using legitimate images of the assassin from the incident before reusing the same three photographs posted by Rieu.

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

A poster on ResetEra also claims that an Iranian news source made the same mistake, with the same three images

This all ended up with the term ‘Hideo Kojima’ trending on Friday evening, with over 35,000 tweets discussing the issue.

It is likely this which caused Kojima Productions to issue a statement on Twitter, saying that the company ‘Strongly condemns the spread of fake news and rumours that convey false information.’

‘We do not tolerate such libel and will consider taking legal action in some cases.’

There’s no indication of who specifically the developer might be taking action against but hopefully the threat alone will mean the absurd mistake is not repeated.

#KojimaProductions 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. pic.twitter.com/fDi0FR9kB0

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