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the hatch cometh

The much publicised baby hatch finally opened in Kumamoto yesterday. The idea is that mothers who give birth, and then decide they wished they hadn’t, can drop their baby off (forever) at the hatch. The abandoned babies will then be cared for by salarymen in the prefectural office.

Those against the scheme believe it’s likely to encourage people to get rid of their babies, while its proponents say it’s a wonderful way to get rid of babies.

Some housewives are even asking for a husband hatch where they can drop off their recently retired husbands, though the prefectural office have said there are no plans for such a hatch at this stage.

The baby hatch is located on the top floor of the prefectural office, with a small sign next to it saying “carefully place baby here”. The people of Kumamoto are proud to be the first city in Japan to have such a hatch, although some people have voiced concern over its rather unusual design...

The new-look Kumamoto prefectural office.

Babies that are not claimed within six months will be turned into smurfs.
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On Saturday, 12 May, 2007, Anonymous Andy said:

Imagine if the pipe had been a giant vacumn cleaner, sucking up babies within a ten metre radius and spewing them onto the rooftop for "processing". Anyone would look like a smurf after that kind of treatment.  

On Sunday, 13 May, 2007, Blogger Nationwide said:

cute idea. Although the pipe might have to be widened to accommodate fat babies.  

On Sunday, 13 May, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

I kept my baby till he gtew up and went to Los Angeles and left me the smurfs. I keep them in a biscuit tin and find them to be much quieter and better behaved than the baby was. Sandy  

On Monday, 14 May, 2007, Blogger Brit in Hokkaido said:

So that's what that is.

I've seen something similair up here Englishman, and have been wondering what it is for the last couple of days.

This pipe in Sapporo is blue though.  

On Monday, 14 May, 2007, Blogger Shyam said:

I'm probably asking for it, but... is this true? the photos make me think you're taking the Michael, but the post itself... I dunno. IS it true?  

On Tuesday, 15 May, 2007, Blogger melanie said:

I wonder how busy they'd get if they had an elderly mother-in-law hatch.....  

On Tuesday, 15 May, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Englishman, I thought you were only joking about the husband thing, but maybe it's going to happen soon enough. Today the hatch received its first 'baby' - a FOUR YEAR OLD boy! Full story here:

On Tuesday, 15 May, 2007, Blogger Invader Stu said:

I'll never be able to look at a Smurf the same way again  

On Wednesday, 16 May, 2007, Blogger Nationwide said:

He was 3. How'd he get through the hatch?  

On Wednesday, 16 May, 2007, Blogger David said:

I wrote a few posts about the baby-hatch myself, and I am very much against such a thing.

However, my wife would probably be in favour of the husband hatch idea... Especially after last week-end's fishing trip/Mothers Day ordeal. ;)


On Saturday, 19 May, 2007, Blogger tornados28 said:

Too bad they require the mother or father to walk all the way to top of the building in order to deposit their baby. I guess they planned it that way to give them some more time to think about what they are about to do.  

On Wednesday, 30 May, 2007, Anonymous stuz said:

i have the snowboarding smurf :)  

On Monday, 02 July, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

just wondering...
do japanese get offended if you call their baby 'adorable' ?
(just thinking that might sound like something else to them)  

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