U.S. servicemembers help clean up an elementary school in Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2, 2011, after an earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan.  NATHAN BAILEY/STARS AND STRIPES
U.S. servicemembers help clean up an elementary school in Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2, 2011, after an earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan. NATHAN BAILEY/STARS AND STRIPES

Airmen re-enact disaster response as ‘Fukushima 50’ filming takes off at Yokota

by Seth Robson
Stars and Stripes

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The home of U.S. Forces Japan was transformed into a mini-Tinseltown on Monday when a group of Japanese filmmakers arrived to shoot a movie featuring American airmen and Air Force helicopters.

“Fukushima 50,” which stars Academy Award nominee Ken Watanabe (“Inception,” “The Last Samurai”) and Koichi Sato, tells the story of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant workers who mounted a heroic effort to bring damaged reactors under control after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The Yokota scenes relate to a fictional subplot that focuses on the relationship between one of the 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.

Earlier this month, the filmmakers advertised for off-duty airmen to work as extras in the Yokota scenes at a rate of $120 for eight hours’ work.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.566332

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