The Asia Film Awards started in 2007 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule and the prize giving ceremony is held there every March. This year, 28 countries and regions participated in the awards which were shown live via TV and Internet. Japanese films nominated in this year's competition included "Fuchi ni tatsu", "Shin Godzilla", "Ikari" and "Mohigan Kokyo ni kaeru" while Momoi Kaori and X JAPAN's YOSHIKI were invited to be the award presenters.
Asano who returned to Japan on the same night of the prize giving ceremony, said in his acceptance speech that he was honoured to be back to attend the award ceremony. As he had spent close to a year working on this movie, he was especially moved to be able to win the award with his acting in this movie which began its run on the world circuit at the Cannes Film Festival last May. To be able to come to the awards with the director Fukada Koji, he felt that this was the end of a a long journey for them and he was glad to be able to win as the director did not get it despite being nominated for best director. When told that he was the first to win the award in two consecutive news, Asano revealed his joy about being able to get the honour despite being surrounded by many veteran actors from Asia and it was worthwhile for him to make time to come to Hong Kong despite having to go back to Japan immediately after the ceremony and not being able to sample any Chinese cuisine. Asano also hopes that his award will create new hype for the movie which is still being shown in Japan and will be shown in other countries soon.
Sources: Eiga.com 1 / Eiga.com 2