The Ultimate in Spin?
TOKYO — Japan has changed the name of the Pacific island of Iwo Jima to the original name of Iwo To given by locals, who have become disenchanted with the popularization of its modern-day moniker by such movies as Clint Eastwood’s recently released “Letters from Iwo Jima.”This reminds us a bit of the campaign in Dallas, Texas to tear down the Texas School Book Depository, the building from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed John Kennedy. Before better judgment prevailed, some Dallasites wanted to excise a symbol of what they viewed as a shameful episode from the landscape.
The new name in Japanese looks and means the same as Iwo Jima — or Sulfur Island — but sounds different, the Japanese Geographical Survey Institute said.
The institute announced the name change on Monday after discussing the issue with Japan’s coast guard. An official map with the new name will be released Sept. 1.
Ironically, no civilians now live on Iwo Jima. They were relocated from the island in 1944, and are now scattered across Japan. But they somehow want the name changed.