French-language instructors at Meiji University on Tuesday gave French textbooks and a dictionary to Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, who has been targeted in a lawsuit for allegedly remarking that the French language “cannot count numbers.”

A group of 13 instructors from Meiji University presented the gifts to an official of the metropolitan government’s office for accepting citizens’ views. Ishihara is on vacation.

The gifts were accompanied with a letter saying, “Please learn this as homework during the summer vacation so you can count numbers in French.”

According to the lawsuit, filed July 13 with the Tokyo District Court by a French-language school principal and other people, Ishihara said last Oct. 19, “I have to say that it should be no surprise that French is disqualified as an international language because French is a language which cannot count numbers.”

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