Hollande calls Japan 'China'

Jun 08, 2013, 08:14 IST | Agencies

France's Francois Hollande was left red-faced in Tokyo on Friday after a slip of the tongue that saw him confuse his Japanese hosts with the Chinese

During a press conference Hollande, speaking in French, referred to the Algerian hostage crisis in January in which 10 Japanese nationals died, saying he had ‘expressed the condolences of the French people to the Chinese people.’ The president, who is in Japan on a three-day state visit, made no attempt to correct his mistake.

France’s President Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler attend a dinner with Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in Tokyo. Pic/AFP

A quick-thinking female interpreter fixed the verbal gaffe as she gave her simultaneous translation, rendering the sentence as it had been intended. However, at least one Japanese journalist with knowledge of French picked up on the error. 

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