In 1967, James Bond made his official Japan debut in “You Only Live Twice”: The gentleman spy came to Tokyo and Fukuoka, saw some sumo, consorted with ninja and got intimate with two homegrown Bond girls. Directed by Lewis Gilbert, “You Only Live Twice” goes down in Japan’s collective memory as the one and only time 007 made it to these shores.
There are hopes he’ll choose to visit a second time. “The Man With the Red Tattoo,” a 2002 Bond novel penned by Raymond Benson, is set in various locations throughout Japan including Naoshima Island, and the local Kagawa Prefectural Government was thrilled enough to erect the 007 Museum there in 2004. The museum is a nonprofit institution — actually a charming, attic-like structure crammed floor to ceiling with Bond memorabilia. If this won’t lure 007 back to the archipelago, maybe the prefecture’s lobbying of the filmmakers will.