Survey: Children won't talk about lost parents

NHK -- Mar 10
A survey of children who lost parents in the massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan 10 years ago shows that more than a third of them do not share their feelings with others.

The survey was conducted by the Tokyo-based Ashinaga organization, which provides educational funding and psychological support to orphans. The group received answers from 310 people, and held a news conference to announce the results on Tuesday in Sendai City.

Asked whom they talk with about their feelings concerning their parents who died or remain missing, 36.1 percent said no one. The rate was 52.2 percent among junior and senior high school students and 29 percent among those aged 18 and older.

Asked to describe their feelings toward their lost parents, 51.6 percent said "regret" while 51.2 percent said "gratitude."

Hagiwara Sawaha, a third-year senior high school student in Sendai, lost her father to the tsunami when she was eight years old.

She told reporters that there was a time when she did not talk about her father, because she thought she could not cry as everyone else was sad. She added she was suffering alone without anyone to turn to for help.

Ashinaga official Ogawa Rina says the children need a place where they can speak up when they want to talk about their parents. She also says the organization will continue to support the children because a decade has not brought them closure.