In a long-lasting diplomatic conflict between China and Japan, the two countries’ ambassadors have invoked the fictional evil wizard of the Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, to describe the relations between the two states.
In an opinion piece published in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper on Monday, Tokyo’s envoy to London, Keiichi Hayashi compared Beijing to the villain of JK Rowling’s multi-million selling books.
“East Asia is now at a crossroads. There are two paths open to China,” he wrote.
“One is to seek dialogue, and abide by the rule of law. The other is to play the role of Voldemort in the region by letting loose the evil of an arms race and escalation of tensions, although Japan will not escalate the situation from its side,” he said according to the international press.
“The answer seems obvious. Although China has so far refused to enable dialogue between our leaders, I sincerely hope that it will come forward, rather than keep invoking the ghost of ‘militarism’ of seven decades ago, which no longer exists,” Hayashi wrote.
China replied: “If militarism is like the haunting Voldemort of Japan, the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo is a kind of horcrux, representing the darkest parts of that nation’s soul,” the Chinese envoy wrote, referring to the latest scandal between the two countries, caused by Shinzo Abe’s visit to a controversial war shrine, Yasukuni, which honors Japanese war dead, including men convicted of serious war crimes in the wake of Japan’s 1945 World War II defeat.
Another important conflict between the two countries is caused by a set of disputed islands in East China Sea. The territorial conflict lasts for more than an year, as both states claim the ownership of the islands which are known as Senkakus in Japan, respectively as Diaoyu in China.