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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 17:10 04/06/2007
News Review #389: April 6, 2007

Kumamoto City Govt OK's Nation's 1st Baby Hatch

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Kumamoto City Govt OK's Nation's 1st Baby Hatch
Daily Yomiuri Online (4/6/2007)


After emotional public discussion, the Kumamoto municipal government has finally approved Jukei Hospital in the city to set up the nation's first baby hatch, where parents can leave their babies anonymously. While this kind of arrangement is fairly common in some of the European countries, most notably Germany, for the purpose of saving babies who would otherwise be abandoned anywhere.

Of course, some people are against this idea, insisting that it might encourage parents to relinguish their responsibility to raise children. And, not surprisingly, Prime Minister Abe seems to have such an opinion by expressing displeasure about the decision by the Kumamoto city government.

However, what Mr. Abe apparently does not realize is the fact that Kumamoto Mayor Seishi Koyama, while supporting the baby hatch system, has also emphasized various efforts which will and should be provided to prevent unnecessary abandonment of babies by helping pregnant women and couples raising children, such as a 24-hour telephone hotline for discussing pregnancies and giving birth, as reported in this Daily Yomiuri article.

Rather than criticizing the local government's decision from the conservative political standpoint, Mr. Abe should listen and respond positively to the requests by Mayor Koyama to the central government, that is to improve the consultation system and establish legislation to help pregnant women and babies, so that no baby hatch would become necessary in Japan.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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