"Shizumanu Taiyo" (The sun that never sets) took home the gold at the Japan Academy Prize on Friday, winning the award for Best Film, while leading man Ken Watanabe, 50, was awarded Best Actor.
In the drama based on the 1985 JAL plane crash that caused 520 deaths, Watanabe plays airline employee Hajime Onchi, who is continuously traveling overseas, and the movie was shot in locations such as Kenya and Iran.
Watanabe said of the filming, "Just like Onchi, I'm really grateful toward my wife and children who got left behind while I was off for long periods shooting on location."
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who attended the awards ceremony, which is Japan's equivalent of the Academy Awards, sang Watanabe's praises and joked, "Of all people, Mr Watanabe is certainly the one for whom 'the sun never sets.'"
The 33rd Japan Academy Prize was the first time in history an acting prime minister attended the ceremony.
Other results are as follows: Best Director: Daisaku Kimura for "Tsurugi-dake Tennogi"; Best Actress: Takako Matsu in "Villon's Wife"; Best Supporting Actor: Teruyuki Kagawa in "Tsurugi-dake Tennogi"; Best Supporting Actress: Kimiko Yu in in "Villon's Wife"© Japan Today