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Old 05-10-2007, 08:50 AM
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Japan's first 'baby hatch' opens to controversy

Japan's first "baby hatch", where parents can drop off unwanted infants anonymously, opened Thursday despite opposition from the conservative national government.
The baby hatch, modelled on a project in Germany, went into operation at a Roman Catholic hospital in the city of Kumamoto, some 900 kilometres (560 miles) southwest of Tokyo.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has urged Japan to return to "family values," opposed the idea but found no legal grounds to stop it.

"A mother must not leave her child or abandon him or her anonymously," Abe told reporters.

"I want mothers to seek help first if they have problems," said Abe, who is childless after unsuccessful attempts with his wife Akie.

Government spokesman Yasuhisa Shiozaki added: "Even at a hospital facility, abandoning a baby still should not be tolerated.

"It is the government's role to help parents raise children on their own."

Since the hospital announced plans to set up the hatch in November, it has reportedly received about 40 inquiries.

Advocates say the plan, if replicated, could help boost the dwindling birth rate in Japan, where abortion is widely accepted.


The city of Kumamoto approved the Jikei Hospital's plan in April after deciding it did not violate any laws.

Called "the cradle of storks," the hatch is set into the wall of the hospital's lobby like a mailbox.

It has a door, 50 centimetres (20 inches) by 60 centimetres (24 inches), with a drawing of two storks carrying a baby and a message reading, "Please leave something with the baby."

When the door is opened, a nurse is alerted by an alarm. There is an intercom next to the door to encourage parents to contact hospital staff.

"When I saw a simulation, in which a baby doll was placed into the hatch, I again felt determined that we must build a society in which this hatch will never be needed," Kumamoto Mayor Seishi Kouyama said, as quoted by Jiji Press.

No babies were left in the hatch during the first hours that it was open.


Copyright AFP 2005, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php...show_article=1
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:19 PM
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kinda like the night deposit at the bank,huh?
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Old 05-12-2007, 08:21 PM
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I have read before that Japan's population is dwindling. I doubt this is the answer, but is an alternative to abortion anyway. They should give incentives to their people to have children. The alternative in the future is throwing the gates wide open for immigration, I'm sure Japan doesn't want that.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:03 PM
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At least they're not killing them!
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