Filmmakers seek Yokota airmen to serve as extras in ‘Fukushima 50,’ starring Ken Watanabe via Stars and Stripes


YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Force has authorized its servicemembers to appear in a Japanese movie about the response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster that will include scenes shot at the home of U.S. Forces Japan later this month.

“Fukushima 50,” which stars Academy Award nominee Ken Watanabe (“Inception,” “Letters from Iwo Jima”) and Koichi Sato, tells the story of powerplant workers who mounted a heroic effort to bring the damaged reactors under control after they were struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.


The film, due for release next year, is based on the 2012 nonfiction book “On The Brink: The Inside Story Of Fukushima Daiichi,” by Ryusho Kadota.

The Yokota scenes relate to a fictional subplot that focuses on the relationship between one of the powerplant workers and a childhood American friend. The American character takes part in Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. disaster response that involved 24,000 U.S. servicemembers, 189 aircraft and 24 ships.

About 70 filmmakers will be at Yokota during the shoot along with the movie’s stars.

Illustrations showing the scenes to be shot at Yokota include airmen standing in formation in a hangar, a command center meeting of military officers and helicopters swarming in the sky.

Filming will involve only two helicopters with special effects used to make the scene more exciting, Kajikawa said.

Read more at Filmmakers seek Yokota airmen to serve as extras in ‘Fukushima 50,’ starring Ken Watanabe

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