Following a racist joke that linked Hideo Kojima to the assassination of Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kojima Productions has threatened legal action against those who contribute to the “spread of fake news and rumors that convey false information.”
Kojima Productions tweeted out its statement earlier today, July 9, saying that it “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.”
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
— Nox Dawn 🐸 (@NoxDawn) July 8, 2022
As reported by PC Gamer, the reason for this statement stemmed from a racist joke that seemingly began on 4Chan (shocking, I know) that said Kojima was the assassin behind the death of Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan who was killed while he was delivering a campaign speech for upcoming elections on Friday, July 8.
Abe was shot twice and passed away at a hospital, and a suspect named Tetsuya Yamagami was arrested at the scene and admitted to being the one who shot the former Prime Minister.
This so-called joke was picked up by a French comedian in a Tweet mocking the situation and that was retweeted by a far-right French politician named Damien Rieu who is associated with the Génération Identitaire movement he co-founded. Rieu took the joke as an actual fact and began spreading it.
Greek news channel using pictures of Hideo Kojima wearing a Soviet ushanka, Joker t-shirt and standing next to a photo of Che Guevara – saying he’s Shinzo Abe’s assassin!? pic.twitter.com/JiwZKtA7pJ
— The Kavernacle (@TheKavernacle) July 8, 2022
Despite all of the signs of this obviously being some sick joke, images that falsely linked Kojima to the assassination appeared “in an Iranian press outlet and as part of a Greek news broadcast.”
Rieu has since apologized, but the damage had already been done. Now, Kojima Productions is doubling down and letting those out there know that this is not something to joke about and that it will take legal action in certain cases if any of this libel against Hideo Kojima continues.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.
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Author: Adam Bankhurst