A French woman on Wednesday slipped into the grounds of the French presidential palace to question Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the fate of her sister missing in Japan.
"Mr President, I'm the sister of Tiphaine Veron, missing in Japan," said Sibylle Veron, who popped up among a group of journalists gathered to hear Abe and Macron deliver a joint statement in the palace courtyard.
"We shall discuss it, but in the appropriate context because I go into details when looking into things," Macron replied.
"I'm not used to dealing with such matters in front of the press," he added.
Veron was then invited into the Elysee Palace by members of the diplomatic staff while Abe and Macron sat down for a working lunch.
Tiphaine Veron, 36, who lives in the central French city of Poitiers, disappeared on July 29 after going for a walk in Nikko, northeast Japan, where she was on holiday.
Veron, who suffers from epileptic fits, was due to spend two days in the area, famed for its temples and wood-covered hills.
Japanese police mounted a search but found no trace of her, say French authorities, who also launched an investigation into her disappearance — standard procedure in France when something happens one of its citizens abroad.
In their statement, Macron and Abe stressed that their countries, which next year will respectively chair the G7 and G20 groups of industrialised states, will press partners to bolster free trade and multilateralism.
© 2018 AFP