Hideo Kojima mistakenly listed as Shinzo Abe assassin by western media and politicians

Hideo Kojima

Not long after the longest-serving Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated this morning, internet trolls made light of the horrific news. One such “joke” tried to liken the murderer to gamedev Hideo Kojima, so much so western media picked the story up by mistake.

Abe was shot twice by a suspect named Tetsuya Yamagami, who used an improvised weapon in the attempted murder while he was delivering a campaign speech. While the suspect was arrested immediately, Abe later died of his wounds.

Users on 4chan concocted a joke that claimed game designer Hideo Kojima is the assassin, which like other troll campaigns, succeeded in getting spread and eventually mistakenly pushed as accurate news.

A French comedian on Twitter shared the trolling attempt, which got retweeted by a French politician Damien Rieu. This got the troll spread even further, eventually getting picked up by corporate media – who rarely actually check the accuracy of viral stories.

Rieu’s commentary on the trolling attempt is what got Greek (pictured above) and Iranian news outlets covering the story as legitimate. Rieu has since deleted his tweets and apologized, saying he didn’t think people would make jokes about assassinations – and apologized to Hideo Kojima and fans of Metal Gear.

Clearly, Rieu hasn’t spent any length of time on the internet – where users make fun of literally everything. The 4chan meme is a nod to the “joke” that all natives from a place/nation look the same, i.e. westerners would easily confuse Yamagami and Kojima as the same people because they’re both Japanese.

We offer our deepest condolences to the Abe family – and will cover this story if Kojima or Kojima Productions respond to the entire ordeal.



Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry.

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