Japan’s sole ‘baby hatch’ marks 10 years

Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto City, southern Japan, opened the hatch on May 10th, 2007. The hospital had accepted 125 babies by the end of March 2016.

Investigations by child welfare centers helped identify over 70 percent of them.

But the biological parents of 29 babies were not found within a year after they were left in the hatch.

The identities of more than 20 children have never been discovered.

Welfare workers are cautious about finding foster parents or arranging adoption for these children, because their biological parents could suddenly come forward and claim them.

That means some infants have to stay in children’s homes.

Japan’s only baby hatch has been in operation for 10 years. The hatch allows parents to leave their infants anonymously, but there are fears that it negatively affects the children’s welfare. (NHK)

A 67-year-old man on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to starting a fire in Shinjuku’s Golden-gai district in Tokyo in April last year. (Japan Today)

Japan’s government will issue an evacuation alert as soon as it detects that North Korean ballistic missiles are heading towards the country. (NHK)

A forest fire in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, has prompted authorities to issue evacuation orders to hundreds of nearby residents. (NHK)

A survey in Japan shows record-high ratios of 50-year-old men and women have never been married. It says one in 4 men and one in 7 women remain single. (NHK)

A sandstorm was observed Sunday stretching from western to northern Japan, including the Kanto region, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (Japan Today)

Thousands of people took part in a parade in Tokyo’s Shibuya district Sunday to raise awareness of issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, marching on along busy shopping streets led by a float decorated in rainbow colors. (Japan Today)

A man who was having a barbecue with friends at his residence was stabbed to death Sunday in Gifu Prefecture and the assailant, who was promptly arrested, said he had “no intent kill,” police said. (Japan Times)

Heavy congestion is reported on Japan’s roads, railways, and airlines as people return from their hometowns and domestic travel destinations at the end of the Golden Week holidays. (NHK)

A woman under investigation in a murder in Imabari City has committed suicide, police have revealed, reports NHK (tokyoreporter.com)

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