|Tokyo Genpatsu/Tokyo: Level One (2004)
One cold day in February, 200X, Temma (Koji Yakusho), the Governor of Tokyo, summons the six Tokyo
Metropolitan Office department heads to a special conference in the Metropolitan Government Office building
to announce that he is planning to launch a project for constructing a nuclear power station in Tokyo. He
starts explaining to the stunned-looking heads the various merits of building a nuclear power station in Tokyo.
The motto which he has created is shown to them on a small board, reading: "SAFETY, CLEANLINESS and
He emphasizes that it is Tokyo residents that consume most of electricity generated by various nuclear power
stations located far from Tokyo; therefore it is more convenient for Tokyo to have a nuclear power station,
thereby economizing on the expense of sending electricity from distant nuclear power stations by transmission
lines. He also insists that the construction of nuclear power stations in Japan has resulted in destruction of
beautiful landscapes in the countryside, whereas Tokyo has already become a desecrated, ugly city, so why
hesitate to construct a nuclear power station there?
Temma is quite eloquent in giving good reasoning why building a nuclear power station in Tokyo is essential.
His theory sounds so convincing that he has almost succeeded in persuading a couple of the department heads ;
but the other heads are still suspicious concerning the governor's real intention. As a result, the small
conference room becomes filled with the babble of voices discussing the pros and cons of building nuclear
power stations. Actually the six heads seem not so familiar with this field.
In order to convince those who are still against him, Temma phones the most suitable person in regard to
safety of nuclear power stations, requesting him to come to explain matters regarding safety to those in the
conference room: that man is Matsuoka (Toru Masuoka), a member of the government's nuclear power safety
committee. Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor, Tsuda (Yasunori Danta), who strongly opposes the Governor's
proposal, hits on the idea of asking a very reliable person to come to the conference to explain the risks of
nuclear power: that person is Enomoto (Toshiki Ayata), a Tokyo University professor of nuclear physics. Prof.
Enomoto duly arrives post-haste and begins his lecture, using various charts to show how dangerous nuclear
power stations are; he also refers to various historical facts and scientific truths, which appall almost all the
listeners in the room apart from Temma himself (strangely enough.)
Koji Yakusho: Governor, Temma
Yasunori Danta:Deputy Governor,Tsuda
Ryosei Tayama: Saeki
Yu Tokui: Temma's secretary,Oikawa
Toru Masuoka: Matsuoka
Nakamura: Sansei Shiomi
Director: Gen Yamakawa
Scenario: Gen Yamakawa
Running time: 110 min
Release date: March 13, 2004
Matsuoka, on the other hand, tells Temma during their telephone conversation that, at the moment, it is
impossible for him to rush to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office in Shinjuku, since he is in the middle
of fulfilling a top-secret mission to arrange the overland transport of a cargo of plutonium, which has just
arrived by ship from France at a certain port in Tokyo Bay, as far as the nuclear power station in Fukui
prefecture, in a trailer truck. (The name of the port that Matsuoka mentions astounds the audience, who then
burst out laughing, although knowing that it is not a laughing matter at all.) As for laughter, Temma's reply
about the construction site which he has in mind for theTokyo nuclear power station also cracks everybody up.
(His idea sounds quite logical and reassuring, though.)
To make a long story short, toward the end of a heated discussion, all the heads come to
comprehend Temma's real intention hidden behind his superficially incredible plan and they all make a pledge to
cooperate in realizing what their boss has actually aimed to accomplish for the benefit of Tokyo and Japan. His
true scheme sounds very significant!
However, the film does not end here.
All of a sudden, their discussion is terminated by an unexpected happening: Temma's cellular phone rings and
he is told by an unknown boy that the boy has just hi-jacked a trailer truck carrying plutonium. The boy adds
that he has set a hand-made time bomb underneath the trailer truck, which is now heading for the Tokyo
Metropolitan Government Office in Shinjuku!
The fact is that the boy, who was looking for a suitable place somewhere in Tokyo to set off his hand-made
bomb, happens to be sitting next to Matsuoka on the train when Matsuoka phones Temma's secretary, Oikawa
(Yu Tokui) to tell him that he can't go to the Governor because the trailer truck carrying plutonium has strayed
off its assigned route. The boy becomes interested and follows Matsuoka, after picking up the cellular phone
which Matsuoka has accidentally dropped on the train. Matsuoka manages to find the trailer truck, but while
he is at the roadside talking to the truck driver, Nakamura (Sansei Shiomi) -- a stranger to Tokyo, who has lost
his way on the journey to Fukui -- the boy sets the bomb, placing it under the truck and slips into the cab. The
boy also sets a video camera inside the cab. The boy threatens Nakamura, motioning him to the driver's seat
with his hand-made gun, and ordering him to start up the truck. While the boy is wondering where to go,
Matsuoka's cellular phone rings. Putting it to his ear, the boy hears a man asking Matsuoka to come to him
immediately. He checks who has phoned and recognizes that it is from Tokyo Metropolitan Governor,Temma
The boy asks Temma to open the website of theTokyo Metropolitan Government Office to see what is
happening. The computer screen shows that what the boy has mentioned is all true. The boy has got his own
laptop computer and shows conference members a video scene where he has previously practiced exploding his
hand-made bomb. Clearly the boy is serious.
In due course, the boy's bomb timer is switched on by accident when the truck bumps against road signs.
Nakamura has been drinking alcohol and gets tipsy! There is only one hour left until the bomb is due to go off!
It goes without saying that the mood in the conference room develops into one of panic! Can Temma cope
with this crisis? If things go amiss, Tokyo will be contaminated with radioactivity...
"Genpatsu" means nuclear power station in Japanese.
This film is full of good quality black humor. It is very educational, providing ample background knowledge
about nuclear power stations. The information we receive through the film is so dreadful that we can't help
shuddering at times. Nevertheless at times, we also can't hold back our laughter. Dialogues spoken in the film
are very funny despite the critical scenes, especially after the trailer truck has been hi-jacked by the boy.
Koji Yakusho portrays the role of Temma very well, as a man who has a strong leadership talent and is both
eloquent and thoughtful. While chuckling over every word he utters, we also sense in his looks and manner that
he must have some deeper intent in mind.
This page was first created on October 19, 2002 and was revised on March 24, 2004.