Japan Renames Iwo Jima

Old name evokes bitter memories of bloody battle
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2007 4:20 AM CDT
Japan Renames Iwo Jima
U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on Friday, Feb. 23, 1945. On Monday, June 18, 2007, Japan changed the name of the Pacific island of Iwo Jima, site of the famous World War II battle, to its original name of Iwo To after residents...   (Associated Press)

Iwo Jima, the Japanese island that hosted one of the most horrific battles of World War II, is getting a new handle. The BBC reports the Japanese government is officially rechristening the island Iwo To, which was its name until 1944. Iwo Jima is best known for photographer Joe Rosenthal's iconic image of GIs raising the US flag on Mt. Suribachi during the battle.

Iwo Jima, the name erroneously given to the tiny volcanic island by Japanese soldiers, still rankles with the descendants of civilians evacuated from the island. The twin Clint Eastwood films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima reawakened the controversy over the name in Japan. (Read more Iwo Jima stories.)

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