Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's December 26 visit to Tokyo's
Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals
are enshrined along with other war dead, infuriated China and South
Korea and prompted concern from the United States, a key ally.
Both China and Korea suffered under brutal Japanese rule, with parts
of China occupied in the 1930s and Korea colonized from 1910 to
In an op-ed in Britain's Daily Telegraph, the Chinese ambassador to
the United Kingdom, Liu Xiaoming, wrote last week: "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
In British author J.K. Rowling's best-selling series Harry Potter,
Voldemort uses horcruxes to hold bits of his soul and extend his
Liu's commentary was followed by another published on Sunday by his
Japanese counterpart, Keiichi Hayashi, in the same newspaper,
headlined: "China risks becoming Asia's Voldemort".
The Global Times, an influential tabloid owned by the Chinese
Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, said the
"Sino-Japanese war of public opinion is facing an escalation on all
"Japan's state apparatus has very strong capacity in public opinion
warfare. They will mobilize various media forces of their country,
create a leverage to lever world opinions, their goal to cleverly
mask the malignant nature of Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine,"
the newspaper said in a commentary.
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"We need to make our demands simple and clear, that is, the Japanese
prime minister cannot visit the war criminals in Yasukuni because it
is equivalent to paying homage to criminals like Hitler and
Goebbels," the newspaper said, referring to the leaders of Nazi
Chinese Internet users were unimpressed with the latest feud.
"Two ancient civilized countries in East Asia have become two
children quarrelling and fighting with each other," said a
"Five thousand years of traditional virtues have been turned into
this?" wrote another microblogger.
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee and Hui Li; editing by Nick Macfie)
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