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.
'Of course I am angry,' he told me through an interpreter yesterday. 'I was ignored and then badly misled, and as a result the people were abandoned here to die.
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