For the first time, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force is set appear to appear in a Hollywood film. “BATTLESHIP”, based on the popular board game, is a movie about a multinational naval task force exercising off Hawaii and encountering a hostile alien sea flotilla. Click here for the trailer.

The “multinational naval task force on exercises” off the coast of Hawaii sound suspiciously like RIMPAC. Early descriptions of the film explicitly mentioned Japanese ships, so I was curious how this would all pan out. Well, as it turns out, the screen capture above, taken from the trailer, confirms the MSDF is in the flick. The ship above is JS Atago, and you can see the hull number “177″ on the helicopter flight deck. And, Atago was indeed at RIMPAC 2010. The question is, how much cooperation did the MSDF lend to the production of the film?

At least a little, maybe quite a bit. Here’s another screenshot from the film that shows an above shot of Atago. The ship’s flatiron bridge is obvious, with the front CIWS just out of the shot.


The IMDB entry for “BATTLESHIP“ lists Japanese cast members and the ship name Myoko, real-life sister ship of Atago. In fact, one of the Japanese cast members is Tadanobu Asano, of “Ichi the Killer” fame.

“BATTLESHIP” arrives in U.S. theaters in May 2012.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch