Watanabe Takes Year Off To Rebuild Japan

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March 7, 2012 | 11:21am EST

Inception star Ken Watanabe is taking a hiatus from Hollywood so he can assist with rebuilding efforts in his native Japan.
The actor has returned to the Far East to film a documentary about disaster recovery after a massive tremor struck his homeland last March, sending a huge tidal wave inland and killing more than 15,000 people.

He tells The Hollywood Reporter, “I was in L.A. a week ago and I told my agent that I have to be in Japan this year, maybe next year I’ll think again about projects in Hollywood.”

The hour-long documentary will focus on the port of Kesennuma, a region Watanabe feels a personal connection to after filming the hit drama series Dokuganryu Masamune there at the start of his career.

He adds, “We spent a long time shooting on location around the region and got a lot of help from local people, I feel like it’s my second hometown.”