Conference snapshot: update on Japan

Masaharu Maeda was one of the keynote speakers of the European Conference on Traumatic Stress. He is the president of the Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and, not surprisingly, heavily involved in helping survivors of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March. Maeda provided some firsthand information about inhabitants’ losses, their reactions to the disaster, and current problems in the shelters.

According to the latest figures, about 15.000 people died and 10.000 people are missing. Because of this large number of missing people and the long and difficult process of retrieving and identifying bodies, many people are still uncertain about the fate of their loved ones. Almost all of them will have died, but there is no confirmation of their death, which makes it difficult to start to mourn; it puts the process of grieving ‘on hold’. Continue reading