On the front lines of the African climate change battle
'99.99% of antiques in the market are fake'
06 Jan 2014 08:54 GMT | Politics, Asia Pacific, China, Japan, United Kingdom
The diplomatic bickering between Japan and China has descended into name-calling in the British press, with claim and counter-claim by the countries' ambassadors invoking the fictional evil wizard of the Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort.
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," Hayashi 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."
Hayashi's letter was an apparent response to an earlier op-ed - also invoking Voldemort - published by the paper on January 1 by Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to London.
In the letter, Liu harshly criticised Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit to Tokyo's controversial Yasukuni war shrine, which honours Japanese war dead, including men convicted of serious war crimes in the wake of Japan's 1945 World War II defeat.
On Monday, Abe said he wanted to explain to leaders in China and South Korea why he visited a controversial shrine.
He expressed his hope that the leaders could meet to diffuse tension over longstanding territorial disputes and historical issues.
The shinto shrine is seen by China and other Asian nations as a symbol of Japan's militarist past.
"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.
In the Harry Potter series, a horcrux is a receptacle in which evil characters store fragments of their souls to enable them to achieve immortality.
Abe's visit to Shinto-style war shrine was the first by a sitting Japanese prime minister in seven years.
Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments
are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct
or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and
global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in
accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
Over-fishing threatens not only the survival of shark species, but also impoverished fishing communities in Madagascar.
Poverty & Development, Environment, Africa
Meet the man reporting on the stories some of Lebanon's most powerful people would rather you didn't know about.
Journalism under fire, Human Rights, Middle East
Despite rain, worshippers gather to greet Pope Francis on his visit to Kenya and attend mass.
Africa, Kenya, Pope Francis
On Pope Francis's visit to Kenya, rights activists question Church stance on reproductive rights.
At least 44 people killed and scores wounded in air attack on popular marketplace in town of Ariha, activists say.
War & Conflict, Syria, Russia, Syrian crisis, Middle East
Police also pepper spray activists defying ban on demonstrations in Paris, a day ahead of UN summit on climate change.
Environment, Europe, France
The insatiable appetite for antiques by China's growing nouveau riche is feeding a counterfeit industry.
Asia, China, Business & Economy
Bollywood actor Aamir Khan faces backlash over what he describes as growing intolerance and insecurity in India.
Politics, Arts & Culture, Asia
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita discusses the Bamako hotel attack, what his government plans to do next and the volatile north.
Politics, Mali, War & Conflict
South Africa's miner strike led to the country's deadliest act of police violence since the end of apartheid.
South Africa, Politics, Protests