by Chris MaGee
There are few Japanese actors with the kind of public profile as Ken Watanabe. He's continually appeared in major Hollywood blockbusters as "The Last Samurai", "Letters from Iwo Jima" and "Inception", while it is nearly impossible to escape his handsome profile on TV, in movies and on billboards at home in Japan. The 52-year-old actor has increasingly used this notoriety to talk about social causes close to his heart (in fact his English Twitter feed is dedicated to such social advocacy). Now there is word that Watanabe will be heading to Switzerland to discuss the one cause that Watanabe holds most dear: Japan's recovery from the March 11th Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Jason Gray over at Screen Daily has reported that Watanabe will be heading to Davos, Switzerland next week to give a speech at The World Economic Forum. He will not only be speaking about the aftermath of this historic disaster, but he will also be premiering an as yet untitled documentary which he narrated about quake and tsunami recovery in the crippled Tohoku region. This premiere comes just short of two months before the documentary gets its official release on the first anniversary of the massive 9.0 quake.
As many of you already know, Watanabe has been active during the past 10 months increasing awareness about the aftermath of the quake and tsunami, as well as calling on his Japanese and Hollywood stars to spread hope to those affected by the disaster through his kizuna311 ("kizuna" meaning bond) website. A very worthy cause, and we wish Watanabe success on his trip to Switzerland.