China-Japan 'Voldemort' attacks up ante in propaganda war

BEIJING Tue Jan 7, 2014 4:43am EST

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd L) is led by a Shinto priest as he visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd L) is led by a Shinto priest as he visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo December 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese state media warned Japan on Tuesday of an escalation in the war of public opinion after both countries compared each other to Lord Voldemort, the villain in the Harry Potter stories, in a tit-for-tat diplomatic spat.

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 1945.

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 nation's soul."

In British author J.K. Rowling's best-selling series Harry Potter, Voldemort uses horcruxes to hold bits of his soul and extend his life.

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 fronts".

"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.

"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 Germany.

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 microblogger.

"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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Comments (5)
baroque-quest wrote:
How do you think Israel would feel if Barack Obama participated in an SNL skit where Jews were roasted in an oven? Because that is essentially what Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo did when he posed in a jet with the number “731″ on it, representing Unit 731, the Japanese unit which carved up conscious, live people for “medical” reasons. Unit 731 was just as bad as Josef Mengele and his unit of sadists. Abe, Hashimoto Toru (the mayor of Osaka), and the other ghouls in Japanese politics have demonstrated that they have no soul.

If readers want to understand the hate being shown towards Japan, they should use an Internet search engine to look for “Unit 731″ and “comfort women.” Wikipedia would be a good place to start. Keep in mind that forced prostitutes, i.e. the “comfort women,” were composed of Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Dutch, and other women.

Jan 07, 2014 6:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Clarice510 wrote:
And I was told that my passion for Harry Potter and my passion for foreign relations would never come together…

Jan 07, 2014 6:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Clarice510 wrote:
And I was told that my passion for Harry Potter and my passion for foreign relations would never come together…

Jan 07, 2014 6:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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