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Cruise unsheathed

20 minutes of 'Samurai' shown in Tokyo

TOKYO — Helmer Edward Zwick and thesp Tom Cruise presented 20 minutes of historical epic “The Last Samurai,” its first outing, at a special event in Tokyo on Thursday organized by Warner Bros. Japan.

“We’re showing it first in Japan out of respect for the history and culture,” Zwick told several hundred local and international media who saw a trailer-like montage and four scenes.

“The code of the samurai, including honor, loyalty and compassion, is very, very important,” added Cruise, who shared the stage with Japanese thesps Ken Watanabe, Hiroyuki Sanada and Koyuki.

“Last Samurai” is set in late-19th century Japan during the turbulent period of the country’s embrace of Western culture and technology, which meant the end of the samurai tradition and its idolized bushido (way of the warrior) spirit.

Film was shot on location in Japan and New Zealand.

The film is set for a Dec. 5 release Stateside, with the Japanese premiere also skedded for December.