Every year since its inception, the Japanese Academy has recognized an outstanding foreign film. The year that any given film is nominated is not based on the film's domestic release date but rather on the date it is released in Japan. As delays of over four months are not uncommon, many films are nominated in Japan the following year after their release to the Japanese market (i.e. Million Dollar Baby won the American Academy Award for Best Picture for films made in 2004, but the Japanese award, based on its localized release date, is for 2005). In fact, not one of the five films nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Picture had been released in Japan by February 15th, 2008, the date of the Japan Academy Prize Ceremony. Although the 2007 recipient of this award, Letters from Iwo Jima, a film almost entirely in Japanese, would not seem to meet the qualification of a "Foreign Language Film", the actual Japanese title of the award, 最優秀外国作品賞 makes no mention of language. It would be more accurately translated as "Best Foreign Production". Regardless, the fact that the film was released on December 9, 2006 in Japan should still technically have made it ineligible.
- ^ "歴代受賞者・受賞作品" (in Japanese). 日本アカデミー賞公式サイト. Retrieved 200８-0６-１１.