Tokyo: Japan’s incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got his US leaders mixed-up 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 after his landslide victory in elections in which his Liberal Democratic Party returned to power.
Abe, who was prime minister in 2006-2007 during the final years of George W Bush’s presidency, quickly realised his mistake when assembled journalists and business leader began chuckling, the Herald Sun reports.
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 report said.
Abe is expected to be formally elected as prime minister by fellow lawmakers on December 26, it added.