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French Politician Misidentifies PM Shinzo Abe's Alleged Assassin as Game Creator Hideo Kojima

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Far-right French politician Damien Rieu misidentified former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's alleged assassin as popular video game creator Hideo Kojima in a now-deleted Tweet on Friday. In the Tweet, Rieu claimed the far-left was behind the assassination during a campaign speech in Nara on Friday and included three photos of Hideo Kojima. Two pictures showed Kojima with images of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. In one photo, Kojima is carrying a tote bag with Guevara's face on it; in another, he poses next to a framed art piece.

The misidentification went beyond Rieu's Tweet and onto Greek television. A news segment on ANT1 TV Greece shared the same images of Kojima, identifying him as the alleged killer. ANT1 TV Greece took down the video on YouTube on Friday.

A viewer reached out to Kotaku about the news segment and provided the following translation:

Tetsuya has confessed to his actions to the police, admitting that he wanted Abe dead because he was disappointed and upset with him. The police have learned that he [the culprit] had served in the Navy Special Forces and taught a unit in Medical School on Physiotherapy for dementia patients. He was passionate about Che Guevara.

It is unknown if the news program's staff inferred the "passion for Che Guevara" statement based on Kojima's images or if it also applies to the alleged killer Tetsuya Yamagami. Kojima has not publicly responded to the false statements and news reports about his involvement in Abe's death.

Police arrested 41-year-old suspect Tetsuya Yamagami, who lives in Nara city, for the murder of Abe on Friday. NHK reported that Yamagami was a former Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force member for three years until 2005. News reports stated the gun used in the attack looked handmade, but police have not yet confirmed if this is the case.

Rieu is the parliamentary assistant of French far-right European MP and National Rally party member Philippe Olivier. Rieu was a founding member of the now shutdown anti-migrant Generation Identity group. The group participated in multiple stunts and violent attacks that led to the arrest of several members.

[Via Kotaku (Zack Zwiezen), @NoxDawn]

This article has a follow-up: French Politician Damien Rieu Apologizes For Falsely Identifying Hideo Kojima as Shinzo Abe's Killer (2022-07-09 14:45)
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