TOKYO (AP) -- As if Harry Potter isn't popular enough, the evil Lord Voldemort from British author J.K. Rowling's best-selling children's series has been dragged into the feud between Japan and China over the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo.
China and South Korea say the shrine, which Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited recently, glorifies Japan's militaristic past.
Writing in The Telegraph last week, China's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Liu Xiaoming, said: "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."
A horcrux contains part of Voldemort's soul, and all seven horcruxes must be destroyed to kill him.
In response, Japanese Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi wrote in the same newspaper that fears of rising militarism in Japan are unfounded given the country's postwar record of commitment to peace.
Instead, Hayashi said that China risks playing "the role of Voldemort in the region by letting loose the evil of an arms race and escalation of tensions."
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.