Hideo Kojima has responded to fake news linking him to the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, through a statement made by Kojima Productions. According to the statement released on Twitter, the company strongly condemns the spread of fake news and rumors that convey false information. They have also added that they do not tolerate such libel and will consider taking legal action in some cases of entities spreading fake news about Hideo Kojima.
Following the events that surrounded Shinzo Abe’s assassination, several accounts online have spread fake news of Hideo Kojima being the assassin, based on an image of him beside a portrait of Che Guevara, an Argentine Marxist revolutionary and former minister of Industries of Cuba. The rumor spread over to international politicians, including far-right French politician Damien Rieu. In a now-deleted tweet, he retweeted an image of Kojima, also saying that “the far left kills.”
The rumor has also spilled over to media coverage of the assassination, with Greek TV station ANT1 TV reporting in one of its news segments that Hideo Kojima was responsible for the act. This segment has since been taken down on YouTube. Rieu has also posted on Twitter his apology regarding the incident, saying that “he naively took a joke online as real information”:
Shinzo Abe’s assassin was later identified as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, who was arrested at the scene in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture. At the time, Abe was delivering a campaign speech in support of Kei Sato, who is running for the House of Councilors election, which took place on July 10.