Shinzo Abe is president of the Liberal Democratic Party and was elected prime minister of Japan in December 2012. He also served as prime minister in 2006 after being elected by a special session of Japan’s National Diet, but resigned after less than a year.
Japan's next leader Abe makes Obama-Bush gaffe after call
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Japan’s presumptive premier Shinzo Abe got his US leaders mixed up on Tuesday, when he told business chiefs he had been speaking to “President Bush” after a phone call from Barack Obama.
The gaffe came in one of Abe’s first speaking engagements since his landslide victory in weekend polls that saw his Liberal Democratic Party returned to power.
Abe, who was prime minister in 2006-7 during the final years of George W Bush’s presidency, quickly realised his error when assembled journalists and business leader began chuckling.
The 58-year-old corrected his verbal misstep and told officials from the Keidanren, Japan’s business lobby, that he and Obama had agreed on the importance of the Japan-US security alliance.
“The president and Mr Abe discussed ongoing efforts to enhance bilateral security co-operation as well as deepening economic ties,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
“They also agreed on the importance of close US-Japan co-operation on pressing regional and global issues.”
Abe is expected to be formally elected as prime minister by fellow lawmakers on December 26.
Business chiefs had been kept waiting for Abe, who turned up around an hour late. Aides told reporters the White House call had been expected earlier.
Top Five 'Bushisms'*
1) 'Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.' Washington, D.C., August 2004
2) 'There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me, you can't get fooled again.' Nashville, Tennessee, September 2002
3) 'You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.' Townsend, Tennessee., February 2001
4) 'They misunderestimated me.' Bentonville, Arkansas, November 2000
5) 'Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.' LaCrosse, Wisconsin, October 2000
* unconventional words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, and semantic or linguistic errors that often occurred in the public speaking of former President of the United States George W. Bush