Following the assassination of former Japanese president Shinzo Abe, a far-right French politician has seemingly confused the suspect with game developer Hideo Kojima.
On Friday morning (July 8), Shinzo Abe was shot twice while giving a speech on a street in the city of Nara. A 41-year-old suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, was apprehended on the scene and is currently in police custody after admitting to shooting Abe with a homemade gun, and saying he had a grudge against a “specific organisation”.
Following the incident, French MP Clémentine Autain shared her thoughts on the murder, taking to Twitter to write: “I learn of the death of Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan. I strictly did not share any of his political positions, but the crime committed is unforgivable. Thoughts for the Japanese people.”
Damien Rieu, a far-right politician and vocal supporter of the “identity movement” in France, then replied to the post writing “the far-left kills” alongside several images of Hideo Kojima.
Both the tweets have since been deleted but Autain has called out the racism behind Rieu’s reply. Sharing a screenshot of the exchange, Autain wrote: “Freewheeling Damien Rieu confuses an assassin with Hideo Kojima, world authority on video games. The extreme right in full racist delirium.”
Damien Rieu en roue libre confond un assassin avec Hideo Kojima, sommité mondiale du jeu vidéo.
L’extrême droite en plein délire raciste. pic.twitter.com/qOAbvRPGiF
— Clémentine Autain (@Clem_Autain) July 8, 2022
At the time of publication, Kojima is yet to respond but Rieu has since apologised, saying: “I naively took a joke for information. I didn’t think people would make jokes about the assassination of a man but I was wrong not to verify before sharing. My apologies to Hideo Kojima and to the fans of Metal Gear.”
Earlier this year, Kojima received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in Japan.
The Kojima Productions director was awarded the media arts category for the 72nd Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award for Fine Arts.
The award itself is “given by the Agency of Cultural Affairs every year since 1950 to individuals who have made outstanding achievements in various fields of the arts and who have opened up new frontiers,” according to a Twitter post.