Cruise on Japan’s calendar

Thesp honored abroad

Tom Cruise now has his own day in Japan, according to the Japan Memorial Day Assn., which cited his love for and close association with Japan.

In addition to his star turn in “The Last Samurai,” which grossed more in Japan, $117 million, than it did in the U.S., Cruise has paid more visits to the country — and worked the crowds here harder — than any other major Hollywood star.

His PR tour of Japan last spring for “Mission: Impossible III” included a trip on the bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo, during which he had his photo taken with more than 100 lucky fans. During that trip, he told the press he wanted to shoot the next installment in the action series in Japan.

The association noted Cruise is the first Hollywood star to receive this honor, but did not say what his reaction was — or why Oct. 6 had been chosen.

The next important Cruise-related date in Japan is Nov. 17, when “MI3” has its DVD release.

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