Following the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Hideo Kojima’s studio has issued a statement in response to a tweet by a French political figure which falsely suggested the game designer is connected to the incident.
The tweet by Damien Rieu seemingly mistook Kojima for the individual responsible for the assassination, an inaccuracy which subsequently appeared in Greek and Iranian news reports about the incident.
Naturally, these inexcusable errors have been widely condemned in the days since.
Mistaken Identity Causes Issues For Game Developer
In the statement posted to Twitter, Kojima Productions said that it “strongly condemns the spread of fake news and rumours that convey false information”, adding: “We do not tolerate such libel and will consider taking legal action in some cases.”
Since making his tweet, Rieu has authored another admitting his mistake and apologising to Kojima, saying: “I naively took a joke for information. I didn't think we could make humor about the assassination of a man but I was wrong not to check before sharing” and adding: “My apologies to #HideoKojima and to the fans of #MetalGear.”
According to a report by PC Gamer, the origin of the false claims linking Kojima to the assassination was a post on 4Chan’s infamous /pol/ board, which came to Rieu’s attention via a Twitter post from a French comedian, who seemingly intended to mock its absurdity.
Rieu then tweeted several images of Kojima, captioning them “the far left kills.”
In response, many people, including users on ResetEra, have accused Rieu of racism for tweeting the false claim, citing the political figure’s far-right views and links to the now-defunct organisation Génération Identitaire as alleged evidence that he may not have simply made an innocent error.
The man currently suspected of perpetrating the assassination of Abe, Tetsuya Yamagami, was arrested at the scene of the incident.
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