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'We have been betrayed': Mayor of town near stricken Japanese nuclear plant claims his people have been 'abandoned'
'We've been left to die': Minamisoma's mayor Katsunobu Sakarai told the BBC his people felt alone and in danger
The voice on the phone was calm and dignified, as befitted a proud Japanese mayor, yet this somehow made his fury more forceful.
Hours after the tsunami struck, Katsunobu Sakurai told me, he had sought advice from the government on whether to evacuate the 71,000 people in his city, which is just 12 miles downwind of the Fukushima nuclear plant.
At first ministerial officials simply ignored his calls. When he did manage to speak to them, they assured him there was no cause for concern; a message he accepted and dutifully relayed.
He had toed the line because that is what Japan's civic leaders invariably do. But yesterday, far too late, the mayor of Minamisoma finally realised that he had been deceived, at best, and perhaps even lied to.
Friday, March 18, 2011
too much focus on the nuclear?
Is the focus on restoring control over runaway nuclear reactors hiding Japan's own katrina-like response? We are seeing a few reports of vulnerable populations being left behind. Sound familiar?
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