Ken Watanabe to star in movie on Fukushima heroes

TOKYO • When an earthquake struck Japan in 2011, a supervisor at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant defied orders not to pump seawater to cool the reactors after a tsunami had disabled the cooling system.

The bosses feared the seawater would render the reactors useless for future use.

The supervisor's action, which likely stopped the reactors from exploding, will now be tracked in a new movie that stars Ken Watanabe.

The film, called Fukushima 50, will focus on the workers who stayed at the power plant to avert a catastrophe, reported trade portal Hollywood Reporter.

Watanabe will play Mr Masao Yoshida, the supervisor who later died from cancer in 2013 at 58.

The film, based on the book On The Brink: The Inside Story Of Fukushima Daiichi by Ryusho Kadota, will be directed by Setsuro Wakamatsu.

Watanabe hopes the movie, set for release in 2020, will do justice to the heroes who stayed at the plant, instead of opting for evacuation.

"The people of Fukushima are still suffering such loss and devastation.

"My hope is that, along with the wonderful cast and Wakamatsu directing, we will make a film that shows the intensity and bravery of these people that prevented a tragedy of epic proportions," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2018, with the headline 'Ken Watanabe to star in movie on Fukushima heroes'. Print Edition | Subscribe