Japan govt honors Oscar-winning ‘Drive My Car’ director, actor

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, left, and Hidetoshi Nishijima, right, are seen with Cultural Affairs Commissioner Shunichi Tokura on Thursday.

The Japanese government presented awards Thursday to film director Ryusuke Hamaguchi and actor Hidetoshi Nishijima for their work on the Oscar-winning film “Drive My Car.”

Cultural Affairs Commissioner Shunichi Tokura handed certificates and trophies to the pair, who also met with Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Shinsuke Suematsu.

The movie won the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Oscars ceremony last month, one of a number of honors it garnered.

“It feels like a dream, and I wonder if I really experienced it,” said Nishijima, 51, of the Oscar win. “I think the fact it’s been showing for so long now is down to the movie’s power.”

“We feel fortunate to make it as far as the Academy Awards,” Hamaguchi, 43, said, adding that he told the government officials that “dissemination of Japanese films and culture overseas can not continue for long without government support.”