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Children across Japan's northern coast continue to face the tragedy of losing their parents and relatives, as the search for the missing and dead continues. Young survivors are already receiving psychological help, but aid agencies say the trauma could last for a long time.
A chance to play and regain normality. The charity group "Save the Children" is operating child care centers across Japan at the evacuation centers.
The charity warns young survivors could face long-term trauma without proper care and counseling.
Hironobu Shibuya, CEO of Save the Children Japan said "Remember 1995 we had the devastation over Kobe Hanshin earthquake, and many many experts are saying not just the children, adults, grown ups, still have a profound psychological scar as a result of it. So you multiply that, I'm afraid this disaster is much bigger which is by sheer members we are talking about."
Save the Children has set up two child care centers in the hard-hit Miyagi prefecture. It's hoping to set up as many as 200 of them across northern Japan.
The official figures of orphaned children haven't yet been released. Some fear these children may face difficulty, as Japan is not so accustomed to adopting and fostering children.
Still, Shibuya believes there's a good chance the orphans in rural areas are being cared for.
Hironobu Shibuya said "We are talking about the fairly rural part of coastal areas, the northern part of Japan which was more devastated by. So therefore for geographic reasons, more community-based kind of lives they have had so therefore children and the people know each other which is a very important fact, particularly orphans don't feel as being lost, because they might be with cousins and uncles and so forth."
Save the Children says around 100-thousand children were displaced by the disaster. Many of them wake repeatedly in the night, haunted by bad dreams. Others have mentally shut down, shunning everyone but their parents, whom they refuse to let out of their sight.