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Japan island wants Bond back

Naoshima, July 25: The tiny island of Naoshima is spearheading a bid to bring James Bond back to Japan in 2008, 40 years after You Only Live Twice was filmed there.

Naoshima, six hours from Tokyo, underlined its enthusiasm for 007 yesterday by opening the world’s first museum dedicated to the fictional secret agent.

Japanese film-goers lap up films set in Japan or featuring Japanese stars. They are even prepared to overlook such offences against common sense as Sean Connery’s 007 successfully passing himself off as a Japanese fisherman in You Only Live Twice.

The island’s connection to Bond stems from its appearance at the climax of The Man with the Red Tattoo, by Raymond Benson, an officially sanctioned author of Bond novels.

The book imagines a Japanese ultra-nationalist plotting to assassinate western leaders at a G8 summit, held on Naoshima, by releasing mosquitoes bearing the West Nile Virus. The novel races through some of Japan’s most filmable sites, including the giant Buddha at Kamakura.

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