Skip to comments.François Hollande mixes up China and Japan on Tokyo visit
Posted on 06/08/2013 7:55:54 PM PDT by TexGrill
Even if the jet-lag is horrendous and there are certain distractions such as economic crisis and street murder back home, the first rule of foreign state visits is generally to know what country you're in. The French presidential entourage was left red-faced and journalists cringing on François Hollande's first official visit to Japan when in a speech he called the Japanese people "the Chinese".
In a press conference with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on Friday, Hollande spoke of the Algerian hostage crisis in January in which 10 Japanese hostages died, saying he had "expressed the condolences of the French people to the Chinese people".
Hollande didn't seem to notice the mistake and didn't correct it, carrying on with his speech regardless. He was saved by the interpreter who was doing the simultaneous translation for journalists and into Abe's earpiece, who instantly corrected the gaffe by referring to the "Japanese". But at least one Japanese journalist who spoke French picked up on the blunder and the French media widely reported it.
"He is tired," was the explanation from Elysée officials to French journalists on the trip.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Them asians all look alike (sarcasm tag)
Wow. I have not laughed out loud so hard and long in a long time.
This incident, if accurately reported, rather blows out of the water the stereotype that contrasts the buffoonish American with the suave, sophisticated, and cosmopolitan French.
Hint: If you have not spent any time in East Asia, you might not fully grasp the enormity of this faux pas.
Beat me to it.
According to Chinese history, Chinese people settled Japan to begin with, so Japan is part of China.
I definitely understand the enormity of the gaffe. Just imagine if he made this mistake in South Korea and called the natives, Japanese, I guarantee there would be violent rioting on the streets of Seoul. I was in Seoul during the anti-American riots in 2003. I can honestly say that one time I walked in on a protest by accident, and a Korean said, “there’s an American,” and as I fled the scene there were over 100,000 Koreans chasing after me, fortunately I could hide in a back alley as I watched throngs of Koreans rush down the main street in search of an American.
I would rather be chased by Japanese than by angry Koreans, if I had a choice (although I would rather not be chased by either).
That is simply frightening! How did you manage to hide? Pretty funny, too!
The Chinamen are not Japanese? Who knew?!
It was funny. Koreans have the herd mentality when they get angry. So when I was in the back alley the Koreans just kept thinking I was on the main road, no one bothered to check out the side alleys. If so, I could have been killed. God was really watching me that day.
chinese and japanese in french are chinois et japonais pronounced sort of like shinwa eh zhaponeh
He could have said “non-French.” That covers it.
It would have been even worse if he confused the two while he was in China. In China, many of the chintzy movies that need a villain use Japanese invaders.
God was really watching me that day.