Masataka Shimizu the president of Tokyo Electric Power, the company which manages the stricken Fukushima plant met with evacuees for the first time.
His visit came on the back of accusations his company has played down the dangers and ignored warnings about the risk of a quake striking the nuclear reactors.
One evacuee told him:
“Think about what you would do if this was happening to your family. Think about this when you are trying to resolve the problem. Please.”
Earlier this week Japan imposed a legal ban on people entering the 20 kilometre exclusion zone. The evacuees are still not clear when they can return to their homes. Masataka Shimizu is aware he and his company have a lot of work to do re-building relationships.
“I am very aware the relationship and trust we have built up with the locals has totally collapsed. It is very important we find ways now to rebuild this trust even if it takes a long time,” he said after his visit.
Steps towards the biggest reconstruction programme in six decades have been announced with the approval of a 34 billion euros spending fund.
That budget is still dwarfed by the estimated overall cost of the damages. Its believed Japan will have to issue fresh government bonds to meet those costs.