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Discovery, NHK, Bang plan doc on Japan disaster

Watanabe will report from affected areas

Tokyo — Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, pubcaster NHK and TV production house Bang Singapore are partnering on a documentary about Japan’s recovery from the March 11 disaster, featuring Ken Watanabe.

The lead helmer of the doc will be NHK’s Yasushi Koyama, working with a core Japanese production team, while execs from the international partners will co-produce. The doc will bow at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which runs Jan. 25-29, where Watanabe is skedded to speak.

Watanabe, who starred in “Inception,” “Batman Begins” and “The Last Samurai,” has taken an active role in the post-disaster recovery effort, launching the kizuna311 and Unite for Japan websites to raise fund for victims and their communities. In the doc he will serve as moderator and reporter, visiting the areas in the northern Tohoku region devastated by the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown, and talking to locals about how they are reviving local industries and planning for the future.

“I’m excited that we have had the opportunity for this collaboration at such an important time for Japan,” Koyama said. “Together with Ken Watanabe, we’ll do our utmost to communicate Japan’s ongoing recovery to the world.”

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