Director: Takahisa Zeze
Starring: Koichi Sato, Gou Ayano, Nana Eikura, Eita, Tomokazu Miura, Masatoshi Nagase
Based on the novel by Hideo Yokoyama, 64 follows the long spanning investigation of a murder by a dogged and unfriendly detective (Koichi Sato). The novel was one of the most successful in Japan’s recent years, hitting the top of the best sellers lists in 2013. Look for the film to see a roadshow release in May, followed by a wide theatrical release June 11, 2016.
This novel tells the story of a suspenseful week in which the regional police department of the fictitious D Prefecture is shaken by the confluence of two kidnapping incidents, one new and one old. The point of view is that of police spokesman Yoshinobu Mikami, 46. He and just three others in the PR office are charged with conveying information from the police department to the television and print reporters in the attached press club. Recruited into the force straight out of high school, Mikami has spent most of his career as an investigator; this is only his second stint in PR after a break of some two decades. The office reports to the director of police administration, a career bureaucrat appointed by the National Police Agency (NPA) in Tokyo, who has been sharply at odds with the local men in Criminal Affairs. Mikami is eager to return to the investigative unit as soon as he can, but his 16-year-old daughter ran away from home three months earlier, and he is looking for help from the director in order to take the search nationwide.
The story begins on December 5, 2002, when the director-general of the NPA schedules a visit to D Prefecture one week hence. The announced purpose of his visit is to call on the victim’s father in an unsolved kidnapping case from January 1989 (the 64th year of the Showa period, which has led the police in later years to refer to the unsolved case as “64”), for which the statute of limitations will expire in just over a year: a seven-year-old girl was found dead after the kidnapper made off with the ransom, and Mikami himself was among the investigators assigned to the case. Rumors fly, however, that the true purpose of the visit is to put the screws on the Criminal Affairs Division. The increasingly harried Mikami must navigate the troubled waters between Police Administration and Criminal Affairs while also dealing with the clamoring press. Then, in what appears to a copycat crime, a high school girl is kidnapped . . .