Japan Night at the Paradise Hotel Grand Ballroom was a lively contrast to stiffer bashes back home.

Sponsored by UniJapan, VIPO (Visual Industry Promotion Organization) and the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the event devoted less time than usual to opening greetings and more time to mixing with the notables in attendance, including PIFF director Kim Dong-ho, Toho president Hideyuki Takai, Gaga chairman Tom Yoda and “Closed Note” helmer Isao Yukisada, who spent most of the event surrounded by media and fans.

One of his reps told Variety that Yukisada had no comment on the no-show of star Erika Sawajiri, who canceled after her remarks — or rather the lack of them — about the pic at its Tokyo preem brought down a tsunami of criticism on her 21-year-old head.

“It was disrespectful to the fans (at the premiere). And it’s too bad for the film,” Yukisada told the Japanese press.

Also in attendance was former Gaga president Tetsu Fujimura, who told that his new startup, Filosophia Entertainment, is deep in co-production talks with U.S. partners to remake Japanese comics for international auds.

Likewise in an up mood was Skip City Intl. D-Cinema fest chief programmer Ruka Mori, ecstatic that her event had been selected as one of Variety‘s 50 hottest world film fests (click here to see list). “It just shows how far digital cinema has come in the four years since we started our festival,” Mori said.