A fictional character from the Harry Potter universe has entered the real-life war of words between Japan and China on multiple occasions.
China: "Nah-na-na-na-nah! You're Lord Voldemort!" Japan: "No, YOU'RE Lord Voldemort" How much feebler can this get? http://t.co/ZNcvBASg2N— Richard Lloyd Parry (@dicklp) January 6, 2014Advertisement
After China's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Liu Xiaoming, referenced the arch-villain Lord Voldemort in an opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph last week, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman compared a Japanese diplomat to the fictional wizard, calling the politician "ignorant, unreasonable and arrogant.”
Sandwiched between those two name-calling incidents was the response of Japan's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Keiichi Hayashi, to Liu’s original comments: "There are two paths open to China. 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," also published in the Daily Telegraph.
"You're Lord Voldemort." "No, *you're* Lord Voldemort!" China and Japan in stunningly mature argument: http://t.co/zIWnDCc4Lb— Nilanjana Roy (@nilanjanaroy) January 7, 2014
The back-and-forth started when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Tokyo's Yasukuni shrine on Dec. 26. The visit to the shrine, which honors convicted war criminals alongside civilian casualties, angered China because it was harmed by the aggression of Japan during World War II and regards the shrine as a symbol of hostility.
"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," Liu wrote in the original piece. In the Harry Potter books, Voldemort uses a horcrux to prolong life by stashing elements of his soul.
So we've reached a point in history when diplomats from two major world powers are calling each other Lord Voldemort http://t.co/yNiif1us8O— Tom Chivers (@TomChivers) January 6, 2014
[CNN] [The Daily Telegraph]