|04:03 am - Dad dumps preschooler in box for unwanted newborns|
TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- A Japanese drop box for unwanted babies triggered a wave of nationwide soul searching Wednesday, a day after it was discovered a preschooler -- and not an infant -- had been dumped there by his father on its first day of operation.
Nationally circulated newspapers warned that the anonymous drop-off, known as "Stork's Cradle," is open for abuse and could traumatize youngsters. They also condemned the father, saying his action could spur copycats.
The drop-off was opened last Thursday by the Catholic-run Jikei Hospital in the southern city of Kumamoto to discourage abortions and the abandonment of children in unsafe public places. The same day, a boy believed to be 3 was found inside.
The boy, who was in good health, reportedly said he was dropped off by his father, who was seen holding the youngster's hand as they approached the hospital. They apparently rode Japan's bullet train to Kumamoto, but it was unclear where they lived.
"I came with Daddy," the boy was quoted as saying by the Mainichi newspaper.
The find triggered a wave of outrage among political leaders on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying "Anonymously throwing out a child is unacceptable." He urged parents to consult social workers for help if raising children gets too tough.
Local media reported that the boy was able to identify himself by name. But it was unclear whether the father had been identified.
The hospital has refused to comment on the case, citing privacy concerns, but said there were age limits on its drop-off service.
Police have decided no crime was committed in the current case because the child was left in a situation in which it was not exposed to immediate harm, Kyodo News reported Wednesday.
"We must rethink the meaning of the baby drop-off," the conservative Sankei newspaper said in an editorial. "Unlike a baby, a toddler may suffer from trauma."
"This little boy must be experiencing great loneliness. We urge his mother or father to come forward," the newspaper said, calling his abandonment "unforgivable."
The Yomiuri newspaper said it was too early to judge the baby-drop, but said that it must be used for its original purpose of receiving newborns, not young children. Parents should also be encouraged to seek outside help before dumping their offspring.
The Mainichi said the misuse of the box could inspire copycats.
A small hatch on the side of the hospital has been set up to allow people to drop off babies into an incubator 24 hours a day.
The drop box was created after a series of high-profile cases in which newborn babies were left behind in parks and supermarkets, triggering a public outcry and government warnings against abandoning babies.
|02:55 am - But most of all|
But most of all he was impressed by the large rambling and yet smartly-designed house, with its bright geranium-bordered walks, its wide, brown, wicker- studded veranda commanding a beautiful view of the lake; the cars and personalities of the various guests, who in golf, tennis or lounging clothes were to be seen idling here and there. At Bertine’s request, John at once showed him to a spacious room overlooking the lake, where it was his privilege now to bathe and change for tennis with Sondra, Bertine and Grant. After dinner, as explained by Sondra, who was over at Bertine’s for the occasion, he was to come over with Bertine and Grant to the Casino, where he would be introduced to such as all here knew. There was to be dancing. To-morrow, in the morning early, before breakfast, if he chose—he should ride with her and Bertine and Stuart along a wonderful woodland trail through the forests to the west which led to Inspiration Point and a more distant view of the lake. And, as he now learned, except for a few such paths as this, the forest was trackless for forty miles. Without a compass or guide, as he was told, one might wander to one’s death even—so evasive were directions to those who did not know. And after breakfast and a swim she and Bertine and Nina Temple would demonstrate their new skill with Sondra’s aquaplane. After that, lunch, tennis, or golf, a trip to the Casino for tea. After dinner at the lodge of the Brookshaws of Utica across the lake, there was to be dancing. Within an hour after his arrival, as Clyde could see, the program for the week-end was already full. But that he and Sondra would contrive not only moments but possibly hours together he well knew. And then he would see what new delight, in connection with her many-faceted temperament, the wonderful occasion would provide.