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Eastwood Asked to Respect Iwo Jima Sites

April 6, 2005

TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo’s nationalist governor had one request for Clint Eastwood before he starts shooting his next film, about the World War II battle at Iwo Jima: Respect the fallen soldiers.

Eastwood, who is expected to begin shooting an adaptation of James Bradley’s ``Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima″ later this year, met Wednesday with Shintaro Ishihara.

Ishihara told Eastwood that thousands of Japanese soldiers who died on the island in one of the war’s bloodiest battles remain unaccounted for more than a half-century later.

He asked the actor-director to avoid ``sacred″ sites of the dead if he films on the island, Tokyo metropolitan government spokesman Katsumi Kumagai said. Eastwood replied that he would ``absolutely not″ trample on Japanese feelings, he said.

Earlier, Eastwood had visited Iwo Jima, 700 miles south of Japan’s capital, which is governed by Tokyo. He has yet to ask Tokyo’s permission to shoot on the island, Kumagai said.

Nearly 7,000 American troops and more than 20,000 Japanese died in the battle from February to March 1945.

Eastwood, 74, has won two best-director Oscars, for ``Million Dollar Baby″ and ``Unforgiven.″

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