Brangelina visit Japan to promote 'Moneyball'

TOKYO: Actor Brad Pitt praised the "tenacity" of Japan in its post-quake recovery efforts Thursday, as the star brought his partner Angelina Jolie and family to a nation still confronting a nuclear crisis.

"You are bringing everything forward to rebuilding and reclaiming the lives for yourselves and for others. It's valued and inspiring to us," Pitt told a news conference ahead of the Japan release of his new movie "Moneyball."

"Your tenacity and perseverance and survival has a great effect on us, to the world community, and I applaud you all for that," he said.

Pitt's visit to Japan, together with Jolie and their six children comes nearly eight months after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami that left 20,000 dead or missing, while sparking the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago.

The global community is "greatly and painfully aware of the cataclysmic catastrophe," Pitt said. "Our hearts and thoughts are still with you who have been touched by this event."

In the film directed by Bennett Miller, Pitt plays the Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane who turns to a statistician with a radical new system to evaluate players and put together a competitive team at a quarter of the cost.

Baseball is hugely popular in Japan both as a professional sport and among children, and the nation has exported stars to US Major League Baseball such as Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners and Hideki Matsui of the Oakland A's.

At the film's preview Wednesday, Pitt gave autographed balls to 10 teenage baseball players from the quake-hit northeast. (AFP)

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