Kojima Productions, the game development studio behind Death Stranding, has responded to hoaxes regarding the assassination of Shinzo Abe. The studio’s founder, Hideo Kojima, appeared in images posted to 4chan linking him to the tragic event of July 8, 2022.
These edited images attempted to trick people into believing Hideo Kojima was a leftist terrorist gone haywire by showing him wearing an ushanka hat worn by Russian soldiers from the former Soviet Union.
Kojima Productions tweeted the following regarding these posts:
Despite the sheer absurdity of these images, they caught the attention of Damien Rieu, a French far-right politician. He then published those images, allegedly claiming that “the extreme left kills,” in a tweet written in French. He later deleted that tweet and apologized on his Twitter account:
The tweet is translated in English as follows:
I naively took a joke as information. I didn’t think we could poke fun at a man’s murder, but I was wrong not to check it out before sharing. My apologies to #HideoKojima and #MetalGear fans 🙏🏼
Unfortunately, the spread of these images did not end there. These reportedly appeared on Greek and Iranian news programs, fueling the fake news about the assassination of the former Japanese prime minister.
But who murdered Shinzo Abe?
Police have identified Tetsuya Yamagami as Shinzo Abe’s assassin. The unemployed 41-year-old killed Abe while campaigning in the western Japanese city of Nara. Yamagami approached Abe from behind and fired two shots from his hand-made weapon. The first shot missed Abe, but the second shot was fatal, ending the 67-year-old’s life.
Experts have examined video footage from all angles and claim that security flaws facilitated the assassination. Yamagami has been arrested and is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation that will last until November 29th. The inquest will decide whether or not Yamagami should be charged with the murder.
His primary motivation for targeting Abe was that he believed he was promoting a religious group that was betraying his mother. He followed Abe on his campaign through several cities and finally carried out the assassination in Nara.
The politics of games by Kojima Productions
The 4chan posts claim that Hideo Kojima is some kind of left-wing extremist. While not the case, left-wing politics are steeped in Kojima Productions’ games, particularly the Metal Gear Solid series.
Much of the stealth series’ narrative explores the stark political differences between East and West during the Cold War and its aftermath. And there is plenty of criticism of capitalism, imperialism and war in general.
In short, Hideo Kojima begs his audience to understand the ramifications of unbridled capitalism and callous politics as these are portrayed in his games through larger than life characters and situations. Additionally, his games convey a deeply thoughtful and moral message that should be appreciated by all, regardless of their political leanings.
We hope Kojima Productions will deal adequately with the perpetrators spreading the fake posts. And we hope that Hideo Kojima will make more cameos in games, just like he did in Cyberpunk 2077. Stay tuned!