Psychological war of March 11 earthquake and tsunami: 9,500 people still missing

Psychological war of March 11 earthquake and tsunami: 9,500 people still missing

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake which unleashed the potent tsunami on March 11 in Japan is still hovering over the Tohoku region.  After more than two months you still have over 9,500 people who are still missing.

Added to this the nuclear cloud in Fukushima remains unresolved and while progress is being made it is not being made quick enough and radiation issues still persist.

Tokyo is virtually back to normal apart from electrical usage being down in order to preserve power.  However, trendy parts of Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, and other popular destinations in Tokyo, are awash with shoppers and the Tohoku region seems like a million miles away.

The Japanese police force and the military Self-Defense Forces have been searching for months and they have done a sterling job because their task is very difficult.  The long-term psychological impact is still unknown but for many police officers and military personnel it must be severe.

After all, many dead bodies have been found and the impact of this on the mind is great.  Added to this, is the sad reality that many bodies have been unidentified and this will add to the psychological demands being put on both the police force and military.

For parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, lovers, and friends; their nightmare is ongoing because of the uncertainty about the missing 9,500 people. 

Yes, it is clear that they are all presumed dead but in the back of the mind some people will still being clinging to hope.  The majority of people may accept that they will never see the missing person again and that their body may never be found.  However, humans are complex and some people will clutch at straws.

Sadly, it does appear that many people will never be identified and found. This will increase the psychological impact and without closure, then the future will continue to torment many people.

Therefore, for many people in the Tohoku region they are stuck in a time warp and without closure the impact will be increased dramatically. 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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