China is pulling out all the stops as it searches for new ways to communicate its displeasure with Japan after prime minister Shinzo Abe visited a controversial war memorial last week—including a unexpected analogy to the works of J.K. Rowling.
Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, wrote in an editorial in the Telegraph that Abe is trying to whitewash Japan’s wartime history in order to to restore Japan into an aggressive military power in the region:
“In the Harry Potter story, the dark wizard Voldemort dies because the seven horcruxes, which contain parts of his soul, have been destroyed. 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.”
China seems to be hoping that a hometown “Harry Potter” appeal will make the UK an ally in an increasingly contentious diplomatic tussle between China and Japan over issues like sovereignty over a set of islands in the East China Sea. In his editorial, Liu stressed war atrocities committed against the UK by Japan, rather than focusing simply on Japanese aggression in China. The editorial is titled, “China and Britain won the war together.”