Kojima Productions took to Twitter over the weekend to threaten legal action against those who misidentified Hideo Kojima as Shinzo Abe killer. On Friday, we reported that photos of Kojima posing next to a portrait of Che Guevara and wearing a Soviet hat were circulated by international media houses and some far right politicians, labelling him as a left-wing extremist who took Abe’s life in broad daylight in the midst of a political campaign. After a day of silence, Kojima Productions finally issued a statement on Twitter.
Shinzo Abe’s killer is Nara resident Tetsuya Yamagami
#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
— KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS (Eng) (@KojiPro2015_EN) July 9, 2023
Abe’s assassin is 41-year old Nara resident and a former Japan Maritime Self-Defence Forces employee Tetsuya Yamagami. According to a popular social media theory, Kojima’s photo was jokingly circulated as the killer’s on 4chan and although we did find the post in question (we’re not going to link to it here), it’s unclear if that’s where the bizarre theory spread from. The far-right French politician who accused Kojima of being a leftwing assassin later deleted his tweet and issued an apology but not before screenshots of his tweet made rounds. The Greek news channel that broadcast the same photos also ended up removing the news segment from video sharing sites like YouTube. An Iranian news agency was also found using Kojima’s photos but it’s unclear if it issued a correction and an apology.
Yamagami was wearing a mask at the time of his attack on Abe and many have pointed out the racist connotations behind the false linking of Kojima to the crime.
We certainly don’t blame Kojima for opting to take legal action, if he does.