The Chinese and Japanese ambassadors to the UK have appeared on BBC’s Newsnight, to discuss the rising tensions between China and Japan since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s appearance at the Yasukuni Shrine last month.
The two sides’ long-standing territorial disputes were also raised. China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, has repeatedly condemned Abe’s visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine.
He referenced the evil character from Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, to describe Japan’s past militarism. The ambassador also published an opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, again saying Japan’s history of militarism was similar to the ghost of Voldemort.
And in the article, he said the Yasukuni Shrine is like the horcrux that represents the darkest part of the nation’s soul. Liu stressed the importance of the Yasukuni Shrine issue as an indication of whether or not Japan could correctly confront its history.
He said Japan’s growing militarism and continued white-washing of its history has been a major source of instability in Asia. "Japanese Prime Minister visit to Yasukuni Shrine, in our view, is not a small matter. It concerns how Japan face up to their history of aggression. I would quote Winston Churchill those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We are concerned that they do not face up to their disgraceful record, what would happen?" Liu said.