• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 12:00am

France’s Hollande calls Japan ‘China’

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 2:16pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 2:25pm

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.

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.

Relations between Japan and China are frequently testy, clouded by differences over history and coloured by a territorial dispute.

Polls in both countries show distrust of the other nation is rife and neither side’s nationals like to be confused with the other.

Hollande is on a three-day state visit to Japan, the first by a French president in 17 years.


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Look at history please. Who has been trying to invade, plunder and steal? China or Japan? Who forced women to be become comfort women? Japan has a history of stealing from others and of lying, even to their own people by teaching history different from what actually happened.
Diaoyu Islands belongs to China a couple of years before Japan has any history of the islands. It was part and parcel of Taiwan Province, and should have been returned to her proper owners if Taiwan did not dare voice out opposition to the control of the islands being given to Japan by the United States who has no right to give away something that did not belong to them.
Ah, those Britons, why are they always so ignorant??? :-)
Maybe Mr. Hollande is predicting that one day Japan will become part of China? After Japan has been trying to claim territory that belongs to China and saying that there is no territorial disputes.
Hollande is the dumbest president France has ever had, and this says something about the people who elected him in the wrong belief that he had a miraculous solution for the economic crisis.
Don't you mean China has been trying to steal land that is Japan's? Like it wishes to do from the Philippines and Vietnam and will eventually seek to do from India, Malaysia and Brunei.
carmeledwin, since you want others to look at history maybe you do so yourself and go a bit further back in time and see who has and who tried to invade, plunder and steel from who at some point in history... it is a quite narrow minded view to only bring up the last or most recent attempts or the ones that suit your point of view... and let's face it China is and has not been by no means a helpless victim when it comes to invading, conquering, plundering and stealing throughout history
enlighten me. When, where and how. I have a wide knowledge in Chinas History. I hope you can teach me more.
What Nazi-Germany did to Europe, Japan did to whole Asia. Nothing tops this.


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