31st Japan Academy Awards held on Jan. 15

“Tokyo Tower, Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad” leads Nippon Academy-sho Assn.’s noms for the 31st Japan Academy Awards with 13 noms, including best picture and director.

Helmed by Joji Matsuoka, pic stars Joe Odagiri as a struggling illustrator and Kirin Kiki as the cancer-afflicted mother he cares for. Based on a bestselling autobiographical novel by illustrator and media personality Lily Franky, the pic was preceded by a hit TV drama.

Next with 12 noms, also including picture and director (Takashi Yamazaki), is “Always 2,” the sequel to the hit ensemble drama about life in 1950s Tokyo that scooped 12 Japan Academy Awards in 2005.

Both pics will battle helmer Masayuki Suo’s courtroom drama “I Just Didn’t Do It” for picture and director. “I Just didn’t Do It” has 11 noms.

In all, 189 Japanese pics and 272 foreign pics were considered for the noms. The awards will be presented Feb. 15.

For more nominations, see http://www.Variety.com/JAA

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