07/11/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dispatch From Tokyo: "Battle Under Orion" Helps Japan's Film Industry Rebound

Japan once had a thriving film industry... and then it didn't.... and now, thanks to filmmakers like my friend Kanjiro Sakura, it's coming back. Kanjiro has established himself in Japan as one of the country's top producers and his latest, Battle Under Orion, premieres in Japan this month. Recently Kanjiro screened it for cast and crew in New York.

Kanjiro has recently been focusing on military stories and this one is a riveting look at a Japanese submarine and the crew that manned it.

My favorite lines from the film are one submarine officer who says: "We're not fighting in order to die; we're fighting in order to live," and a loved one who, addressing the submarine, writes, "Dear Orion: Please lead our loved ones; Please don't let them forget the way home."