The Daily Manila Shimbun


5 Infants left in Kumamoto baby hatch in fy 2016

May 22, 2017

KUMAMOTO- The Kumamoto municipal government said Monday that five infants were left in a baby hatch at Jikei Hospital in the southwestern city of Kumamoto in fiscal 2016, which ended last March.
It is the lowest annual total since the hatch, named "Konotori no Yurikago" (storks' cradle), was set up at the hospital in May 2007, falling below the previous low of eight for fiscal 2011.
A total of 130 infants have been brought to the facility in the 10 years since its opening.
Meeting the press on May 9, just before the 10th anniversary, Taiji Hasuda, head of Jikei Hospital, said, "The public may have become less aware of the hatch's existence."
Many people now probably know that the hospital tries to get in touch with the parents of the infants brought to the baby hatch, Hasuda also said.
Of the five left in fiscal 2016, three were boys and two were girls.
Three were babies under one month old. Of the remaining two, one was under one year old and the other was over one but before school age.
The hospital worked out the parents' whereabouts for three of the five infants. One was from Kumamoto Prefecture and the other two were from other parts of the Kyushu southwestern region.
On their reasons for using the baby hatch, with multiple answers allowed, poverty was cited by two of the parents and an extramarital affair and child-rearing anxieties each cited by one.
The hospital assumes that all five of the infants were born at home, due to their condition at the time they were put inside the hatch.
At a meeting of a committee of doctors and lawyers set up by the city, one member said, "Giving birth to babies at home with no delivery specialists present should be regarded as a kind of mistreatment." (Jiji Press)