Joji (George) Matsuoka's Tokyo Tower: Mom & Me, And Sometimes Dad has been named Best Picture of 2007 at the 31st Japan Academy Awards, held Friday evening (Feb 15) in Tokyo.

The film picked up a total of five major prizes from 14 nominations, including best director for Matsuoka, best actress for Kirin Kiki, best supporting actor for Kaoru Kobayashi, and best screenplay for Matsuo Suzuki. Kiki plays a terminal cancer-afflicted woman who comes to spend her final days with her wayward son (Joe Odagiri) in Tokyo.

The best selling novel by Lily Franky, which has sold over two million copies, was the basis for a TV movie and a TV series before being produced as a feature film. Released last April by Shochiku, the film grossed $17.47m at the box office, becoming the studio's third biggest hit of last year. Shochiku also handles international sales.

Hidetaka Yoshioka picked up the best actor prize for his role in Always: Sunset On Third Street 2 . Yoshioka was awarded the same prize for playing the same character in the original 2006 film.

Masako Motai won best supporting actress for her role as the mother of Ryo Kase's accused character in Masayuki Suo's I Just Didn't Do It, Japan 's official Oscar entry for the Best Foreign Language Film. The film also picked up the award for best art direction.

Tekkon Kinkreet , directed by Michael Arias and produced by Studio 4°C, won best animated film.

The prize for best foreign film went to Clint Eastwood's Japan-set Letters From Iwo Jima, which was the fifth most successful release in the territory last year with earnings of $47.4m.

Isshin Inudo's drama Bizan picked up three prizes for music, cinematography and lighting.