Fukushima 50 (film)

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Fukushima 50
Fukushima 50 poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed bySetsurō Wakamatsu[1]
Produced byNaohiko Ninomiya
Written byYōichi Maekawa[1][2]
Based onOn the Brink: The Inside Story of Fukushima Daiichi
by Ryusho Kadota[1]
StarringKoichi Sato[1]
Ken Watanabe[1]
Music byTaro Iwashiro[1]
CinematographyShoji Ehara
Edited byZiliang Kai
Distributed byKadokawa[1]
Release date
  • March 6, 2020 (2020-03-06)
Running time
122 minutes[3]
Box office$7.4 miilion[3]

Fukushima 50 is a 2020 Japanese drama film directed by Setsurō Wakamatsu and written by Yōichi Maekawa. Starring Koichi Sato and Ken Watanabe, it is about the titular group of employees tasked with handling the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The film is based on the book by Ryusho Kadota, titled On the Brink: The Inside Story of Fukushima Daiichi, and it is the first Japanese film to depict the disaster.[5]


At 2:46 pm on March 11, 2011, the largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history with a magnitude of 9.0 and a maximum seismic intensity of 7 occurred. A huge tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It was clear that a nuclear reactor lost all power due to flooding by the tsunami. A station blackout (SBO) caused the reactor to fall into an uncoolable situation and suffer unimaginable damage due to nuclear meltdown.

On-site workers, including Izaki Haruka, who is on duty at Units 1 and 2, remain in the nuclear power plant and work hard to control the reactor. Director Masao Yoshida, who oversees the overall command, inspires his subordinates, but also expresses anger at the head office and the Kantei (Prime Minister's Office), which are not fully aware of the situation. However, the efforts at the site were in vain and the situation continued to worsen, forcing the surrounding people to evacuate.

In the worst scenario of this accident estimated by the Kantei, the damage range would have a 250 km radius with the evacuation target population of circa 50 million people, which meant the destruction of eastern Honshu (largest main island). The only option left on the scene is "venting", which has never been done before in the world and requires manual labor by a worker to rush into the reactor with their body. The operation finally began while it was cut off from the outside world and no information entered.



Filming began in November 2018.[6] Post-production began in May 2019.[5][7]


Mark Schilling of The Japan Times gave the film a positive review, stating it "strives, boldly for a mainstream film, to tell certain home truths, from the profits-first mindset of the plant's operators."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Poster Released For Fukushima 50 Film About the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster". Moshi Moshi Nippon. Moshi Moshi Nippon Corporation. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  2. ^ "2020年大河ドラマ「麒麟がくる」"美濃編"出演者発表". NHK_PR. NHK. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Fukushima 50 (2020)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b "'Fukushima 50': A disaster film with real-life roots". The Japan Times. 5 March 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b Shackleton, Liz (14 May 2019). "Japan 2011 earthquake, tsunami drama 'Fukushima 50' leads Kadokawa slate (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Media Business Insight Limited. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  6. ^ Screen Staff (20 November 2018). "Ken Watanabe, Koichi Sato to star in nuclear power plant action drama 'Fukushima 50'". Screen Daily. Media Business Insight Limited. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  7. ^ Hertz, Barry (29 May 2019). "Like Godzilla himself, Ken Watanabe is ready to rule the world". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. Retrieved 28 August 2019.

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