Reading an article on NHK, it starts with this sentence about the missing Algerian plane. The French foreign minister says that it probably crashed in northern Mali:


The part I'm confused about is this:


This seems to mean that "most passengers were on board" when the plane crashed. Is that what it means? Where else would they be?

  • 5
    The correct answer has already been given by @snailboat, so I am only making a comment about an interesting feature of this sentence that I wonder you have noticed. It contains 3 big relative clauses, without which we will only be left with 「について」,「は」 and 「を示しました」, which shows us exactly the structure of the sentence. "Regarding A, Person B expressed Thought C." Kinda neat, no?
    – user4032
    Jul 25, 2014 at 0:49
  • That is pretty interesting. Jul 25, 2014 at 9:07

1 Answer 1


It's a relative clause. You need to look at it with the following head noun:

'France, which had the most passengers on board'

France had more passengers on board than other nations.

  • Ahh, thank you, I took that France bit as a separate phrase like フランスのファビウス外相はjust meant "French foreign minister", didn't realise the France was connected to what came before it. Jul 25, 2014 at 9:06

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