Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

When Hollywood comes to Tokyo


Attending a media conference given by a Hollywood star in Tokyo is often more of an exercise for the shoulder muscles than journalistic instincts. If you are obviously not Japanese, you can sit right up front and raise your hand as far and fast as you like, but chances are the MC will not pick on you to ask a question.

I got back from a news conference where Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard were promoting their new film “Angels and Demons” nursing a familiar sore shoulder, but not the pithy quotes I had hoped for about the Vatican’s reaction to a movie some Catholics see as offensive.


Movie distributors deny there is any policy of discouraging questions by the foreign media here.

“I wasn’t there, but probably there were just too many people with their hands up,” an employee in the marketing division at Sony Pictures told me.