A top secret American forces strategic bomber known as “Midnight Eagle” suddenly vanishes in the Northern Alps. Its payload is a specialized nuclear warhead. If it were to explode, the entire nation of Japan would be hurled into an unprecedented calamity. Prime Minister Takafumi Watarase convenes an emergency meeting of the Security Council of Japan. An elite squad from the Self-Defense Force able to operate in severe mountains conditions is formed, and heads off to try and recover the fuselage. Amidst the violent barrage of gunfire from agents of an enemy nation, an actual war is about to begin in the heart of Japan, 62 years after the end of World War II. As former war photographer Yuji Nishizaki spends time in the mountains taking pictures of the skies, he is startled by gunfire, and notices the freshly spilled blood of soldiers on the snow. Aware that his country is under attack, Nishizaki seizes his camera and heads for the battlefield.
In Tokyo we encounter Keiko Arisawa, the only sister of Nishizaki’s wife, who has died of illness. As Nishizaki never fully acknowledged his wife’s condition, Keiko is extremely resentful of Nishizaki. Two years have passed since her sister’s death, but Keiko still cannot forgive Nishizaki. While continuing to work as a magazine reporter, she has taken over custody of her sister and Nishizaki’s son.
Nishizaki, his high school friend, the newspaper journalist Shinichiro Ochiai, and Major Akihiko Saeki of the Self-Defense Forces, find themselves In the midst of a terrible blizzard as they are desperately heading towards Midnight Eagle. Simultaneously in Tokyo, Keiko contacts an agent who might shed light on an accident she has become privy to. The agent reveals to her the situation going on in the Northern Alps.
Each protagonist is driven by a different set of motivations. Nishizaki risks his life in a battle to protect the life of the one he loves; Ochiai doesn’t flinch from the onslaught of the enemy, his journalistic instinct driving him to record reality; Saeki risks all to protect his country and fulfill his professional duty as a member of the Self-Defense Forces. As to Takafumi Watarase, the anguished Prime Minister, he has no choice but to entrust the future of Japan to these three men. At last, Keiko finds the “key” to the incident that will determine everyone’s fate.
With only two and a half hours remaining until the specialized warhead is to explode, will Keiko save Nishizaki, Ochiai and Saeki, and bring to a halt the crisis, which could change the fate of Japan?