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Kojima Productions threatens legal action after founder misidentified as Abe assassin

FILE: Hideo Kojima, left, and Atsushi Inaba, present a clip from Metal Gear Solid: Rising at Spike TV's Video Game Awards on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in Culver City, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Posted at 10:45 AM, Jul 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-09 12:45:25-04

TOKYO — Kojima Productions is threatening legal action after a news station in Greece misidentified founder Hideo Kojima as the assassin behind the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In a statement posted to Twitter Saturday morning, the English-language Twitter account for the video game developer stated that they "do not tolerate such libel and will consider taking legal action in some cases."

According to Kotaku, the Greek news outlet ANT1 TV aired a segment discussing the Tetsuya Yamagami, the suspect accused of shooting Shinzo Abe as he gave a public campaign speech Friday in front of the Yamato-Saidaiji station in Nara, Japan.

During the ANT1 TV segment, a number of social media photos of Kojima were shown as the anchors verbally identified him as Yamagami.

The video of the segment has since been taken down from YouTube.

The misidentification of Kojima as Yamagami is believed to have started as a joke on a 4chan forum, but was later amplified when far-right French politician Damien Rieu posted a tweet showing a number of photos of Kojima with the caption saying "The extreme left kills."

The tweet has since been taken down.

Fans have been quick to point out the irony of Kojima being the subject of misinformation, as the dangers of spreading misinformation in the digital era was a central theme of the 2001 video game "Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty," which Kojima directed during his time at Konami, prior to his public departure from the company in 2015.