Reading kanji characters can be treacherous, and it seems even Prime Minister Shinzo Abe isn't immune to the pitfalls.

Abe has become the butt of online ridicule after misreading a kanji while delivering a speech from a script at an Upper House plenary session earlier this week.

The incident occurred Tuesday as he was responding to questions from Democratic Party leader Renho, who took issue with the way Abe, in his annual policy speech at the onset of the legislative session last week, had publicly chided DP lawmakers for misbehaving in the Diet.