crime

18-year-old schoolgirl arrested for dumping newborn infant in garbage

62 Comments

Police on Tuesday arrested an 18-year-old schoolgirl from Setagaya Ward on suspicion of dumping the body of her newborn baby in a garbage bag on Sept 13. The body of the newborn male, whose umbilical cord was still attached, was found inside a plastic bag by garbage men.

The woman, who cannot be named because she is a minor, was quoted by police as saying: "As soon as he was born, he stopped moving. I didn't know what to do, so I threw him away."

According to police, the girl gave birth to the baby boy in the toilet of her apartment on Sept 13 at around 9 a.m., while her mother and sister were out. That afternoon, believing the child to be dead, she is alleged to have wrapped him in a towel and left his body in the apartment's garbage collection area.

Police said the girl lives with her family but they failed to realize she was pregnant. On Sept 18, she told her mother what had happened and the two of them went to the police station to report the incident.

© News reports

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This isn't the first time I have read about a case like this where relatives didn't know someone living with them was pregnant. How is that possible? Are her parents blind?

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and that is the mentality here.......

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It is possible not to notice, in fact I've know girls gone 9 months without knowing they were pregnant, I didn't believe it myself until I saw the baby born.

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This girls family failed to realize she was pregnant! Is this a joke or what! This girl should be sent to jail for at least 3 to 5 years for what she did and her parents should be fined 30 million yen for not being responsible enough to notice such a thing in their own apartment. This is an incident that should not have happened in the first place. These kinds of things are always happening in Japan and no one seems to really care about fixing the problem. So sad..

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@ Chineseguy1- Your comment should be deleted on the grounds of ignorance, especially with Chian's one child policy!! You don't even want to open that can of worms. In desperate situations, sometimes a person's actions can be baffeling. My thoughts go out to the newborn, the young mother, and her family.

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The girl lives with her mom and sister (no daddy in this family), and both her mom and sister left home in the morning on that day (work and school) before the girl delivered the baby in the bathroom --- I am guessing that the girl was absent from school for a long time because she wouldn't fit into the summer school uniform and surely someone would notice the girl's stomach was getting bigger. Maybe her mom was working all day everyday to support the family and the girl was left alone with the sister.. who knows if the sister and the girl and a good relationship, either. For a mother to not notice her daughter was pregnant, they'd have to be not seeing each other for months..

There was a similar incident in Kobe the other day.. a high school girl got pregnant and delivered a baby and left him to die... Both this girl and her boyfriend (a few years older than her)were arrested.

I am angry that the girl threw the baby boy in a garbage bag, but at the same time I am very sad that she couldn't say anything about her pregnancy to her mother who's supposed to be there for the girl anytime she needed.. Mom wasn't there for her when she needed her the most.. So sad.

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I have heard of MANY Japanese girls doing this over the years. If it is not dumping the newborn, it is leaving him or her in a car in a pachinko parking lot.

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So much for the sanctity of life. The baby prolly could have been saved if she had done something immediately...

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It honestly wouldn't be difficult for the girl to hide her condition; I've seen women here who are very obviously pregnant, and I've seen people like my neighbor, who look perhaps just a bit fatter than normal - if she hadn't had her baby a month later, I wouldn't have believed she was even pregnant.

As for the girl's actions, I feel sorry for her. She was clearly scared, and compounding that with the observation that the baby seeminly died soon after he was born, she reacted out of fear and did the only thing she could think of to hide what had happened.

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It is possible not to notice, in fact I've know girls gone 9 months without knowing they were pregnant, I didn't believe it myself until I saw the baby born.

You're right it is. In fact, I remember reading a story a couple years ago, about a woman who until she went into labor, and had no clue she was pregnant. This was in the US even. Story said she knew she had gained a few pounds, but that she didn't really show at all, and so somehow thought she had just gained some weight. Her birth control caused her to frequently miss her periods, so she didn't really think anything of it. The fact that she was using birth control, no doubt also contributed to the lack of realization. However while this is an interesting fact, I don't believe it has anything to do with this case. This case, the girl knew she was pregnant, it was her family that was unaware. This to me is negligence. However it doesn't rise to the level of murder, unless you find that the infant died after being born.

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As other posters have pointed out, cases like this are frequently reported on this site. Personally, sounds like many have said, this schoolgirl has most likely led a pretty abandoned childhood so far, and has little or no understanding of what she's doing or the consequences. While putting a newborn baby that has died in the garbage sounds horrible to me, too, it sounds to me more like a sign of a neglected mother who doesn't know any better and doesn't know where to turn to for support. Giving birth alone at home in your toilet while your family are out, waiting several hours and when the baby doesn't move, putting the body out with the rest of the domestic garbage, just sounds truly sad.

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This woman should not be able to reproduce again. Mandatory hysterectomy. Just punishment.

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This girls family failed to realize she was pregnant! Is this a joke or what!

It is very easy to conceal pregnancy especially if it is the first one...Reasons for doing so may include a fear of others’ reaction to the pregnancy. Concealed pregnancies and secret births are common the world over.

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Molenir: In my case I was saying that the entire family did not notice and also she didn't notice either. Yes different but it does happen. The outcome of this news story is not very good, human life seems to have less value in Japan.

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lot of people here seem pretty damned cold imo, take a look at this society, her situation, & its easy to picture a young girl scared out of here wits for mths dreading the birth, terrified to talk to anyone & a bunch here are screaming for her head so to speak, no shame folks?

RIP little one, I hope the young girls gets the help she clearly needs rather than the vengence some on jt want dished out, I hope none of yr kids every get into similar situation with yr attitudes it cud end like this one

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A sad commentary on today's society and its value on human life!

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Many of you are saying it is possible for the girl to be pregnant and for no one around her to know. I still don't understand that. If it was at a workplace, I might concede it was possible, but at home, it's difficult to comprehend. I had a sister when I was growing up and I am sure I would have noticed a baby bump if she had been pregnant. So, too, this girl's mother and sister must have seen the baby bump. And when you consider how hot the summer has been, the girl wouldn't have been wearing too many clothes to cover herself up at home, I imagine.

The only explanation I can think of is that they were an estranged family who hardly ever saw or spoke to each other and rarely had a meal together, despite living under the same roof.

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I am very sad for this obviously immature schoolgirl. She will feel the culpability of leaving her child in a dustbin for the rest of her days. However, with freedom comes responsibility. She has to learn that she should be held responsible for her act. She will probably charged for abandonment of a corpse, and maybe for not providing medical help to the baby when saw he was in distress. Since the girl was also a minor according to Japanese law, the parents should be held responsible and face at least a big fine.

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lot of people here seem pretty damned cold imo, take a look at this society, her situation, & its easy to picture a young girl scared out of here wits for mths dreading the birth, terrified to talk to anyone & a bunch here are screaming for her head so to speak, no shame folks?

I agree, and these kind of reactions are the ones the girl was probably scared of. I said in my earlier post, but again, I wish her mom was there for her when she needed her.. And I hope, if my daughter will ever be in trouble, I hope she can count on me and can talk to me without being scared. I think the important thing is for parents to always give their kids a message that they are always on their side no matter what, and the message should be conveyed before something happens..

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I hope the young girls gets the help she clearly needs rather than the vengence some on jt want dished out, I hope none of yr kids every get into similar situation with yr attitudes it cud end like this one

agree on this one, too.

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Pregancies are not always obvious. My wife didn't start to show until 5 months and was still small enough to be playing basketball the day before she went into labor. Her roomate at the hospital had given birth to a little boy at home that she had no idea she was carrying. Husband told me he was in the front yard when his wife yelled out the window that she had just given birth. Wish this story had turned out as happy as theirs...

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Really Kurumazaka? Didnt notice his wife was feeling sick a lot for a few months, then looking radiant in the face, gaining a bit of weight, not having periods for months on end, a bit emotionally different be it either happier or sadder. Really - a husband cant tell this!! Sounds like a marriage made in heaven/hell. If the girls was a bit plump to start with then the belly might not be a giveaway but the parent/s, sister not noticing anything just shows how unloved this poor girl was. Have to say though, putting a new born body in the garbage is unbelievably cold and disturbing. Needs some serious psycological help that she`ll probably never get.

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Pregancies are not always obvious.

Maybe not so obvious in some cases, but IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE PERSON, you would definitely notice changes. In this girl's case, if her mother was interested in what was going on with her daughter's life, and if she was interested in talking to her daughter even for a short time but every day.. saying good morning in the morning face to face... Even if her baby bump wasn't so obvious, even if she was wearing loose clothes to try to cover it up, a mother would notice those changes if she was interested... Did the mother even know if the girl was going to school every day? Some people here are saying it is sometimes not obvious but imagine your own daughter being pregnant.. would you not notice those changes (physical and emotional changes)?

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Pregancies are not always obvious

Garbage! Just because you don't notice doesn't mean it is not noticed by the mother. Just the fact there is no cycle would be enough. I disagree with anyone who defends this loon. She knew exactly what she was doing. She hid the pregnancy from her family, possibly forced the birth timed when nobody else was at home and then dumped the baby in the bin. Now, she is getting pity? The only pity I have is for a society in which this scenario regularly repeats itself.

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When my wife was pregnant, it would have been difficult not to notice it, and not only because of weight gain (back pain, mood swings, the baby kicking, strong appetite, increased sensitivity to smell, etc...). I find it hard to believe a woman could be fooled into not noticing these things and at least go see a doctor to check it out.

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The woman, who cannot be named because she is a minor

,

yeah isn't that a joke??? a minor!!!! and the story talks about her having a baby and dumping it. Name her and shame her. A minor??? What a joke.

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So we help the girl, but forget justice for the baby? Makes me glad I left Japan....

At least her mother persuaded her to do what is right.

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Disillusioned: No one is defending her actions, people are saying that you can go 9 months without anyone knowing about it. It sounds hard to believe but I witnessed it myself in a similar situation (obvious not the same outcome in my case).

RIP little baby.

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Surely people are going to be asking, "Err, where did that lump in your belly suddenly disappear to?"

And she is supposed to be a minor?! In my book, if she is old enough to get pregnant, conceal the pregnancy, and finally dump the baby, she should be treated as a callous adult....

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many Japanese women do not show pregnancy, i met a friend of a friend the other month, she was 8 months pregnant, and was flat as anything! i think Japanese women have their uterus in a weird hidden place, because when i was 3 months pregnant the whole world could see it! but, back to the story,,, i feel so sorry for the girl in the sense that giving birth by herself would have being a very scary thing, possibly even passing out at times,,,,then in shock and bloodloss situation, not being in right mind, freaking out,,,my baby is not moving,,,i dont know how to make him breath,,,,ohhhhhh nooooo,,,,then thinking to put in garbage,,,but still it is horrible

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Wow, lot's of transference going on here. Nobody knows what kind of relationship they had. You blame the mother. Perhaps the girl, like many teenagers, pushed her out of her life. Nobody knows. I'm glad she has done the right thing though, and turned herself in to police.

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Kinda sums up the failure of young people's education , don't it? Teachers and parents have got to get on this thing right away. It's a big deal!

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Tokyo needs a well-publicized baby hatch.

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What's new here? Same old stuff.

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In Japanese society there is a Communication gap. When I asked some people, why do they use cell phone or Internet? their answer was, "there is no one to talk with at home." When asked, why do you hang out lately? asnwer was do not want to go back to boring home.

If parents are friendly to children, kids will talk freely and there will be less problem.

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I don't know that a baby hatch would have helped. She said the baby may have died shortly after giving birth. Yes, it sucks that she threw it in the garbage, but if you have a dead baby and you have no idea what to do with it ... well ... what do you do?

Particularly if the girl was a little overweight it would be very easy to hide the pregnancy. And yes, some women don't know they're pregnant at all. Some women even continue to bleed monthly (although it isn't a real period) despite being pregnant. Some women don't get morning sickness at all. A coworker of my mother didn't figure out she was pregnant until 7 or 8 months along. Surprise!

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"Police said the girl lives with her family but they failed to realize she was pregnant."

As hard as this is to believe, it's happened in the past (here and elsewhere). However it should be noted that this is usually the case for people who are overweight or obese, whereas it would be hard NOT to notice in someone who is skinny. Regardless, in somee of these cases it might be less that they 'didn't notice' and more that they 'didn't acknowledge' it.

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I LOVE THIS!!!: " Her roomate at the hospital had given birth to a little boy at home that she had no idea she was carrying. Husband told me he was in the front yard when his wife yelled out the window that she had just given birth." REALLY??? I guess her menstrual cycle never stopped. Her calorie intake didn't increase at all and she didn't gain an single ounce. I notice when I gain 1 lb, loose a few hair, get a zit on ###. How do you not know you are pregnent? one more thing. 18 is minor is Japan? i know drinking age is 20 but they are not minors at 20!

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kujiranikusuki: It's possible seen it with my own eyes, in my case the girl was not fat, used the same clothes throughout, ate normal, acted the same, went to work everyday (even the day she gave birth), drank as usual, smoked as usual, took birth control... baby born 100% fine... didn't know she was pregnant the entire time until she got back pains went to the hospital, 10 mins later a baby.

In the case above, I'm quite sure she knew she was pregnant and hide the fact from the parents.

And yes anyone under 20 is a minor in Japan.

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This is indeed a sad occurance. I guess since she was 18 she didn't have to go to school. If so, don't they take gym classes if she did? Wouldn't the P.E. teacher not see a girl that was pregnant and not able to do the exercises. The mother has two children. Does she not know how to tell a person is pregnant, if she has been through it twice herself?

Sad for the child, but there is something more to this story that they are not telling.

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Wow, to think how enviromentally unfriendly! Im surprised they didn't leave the bag there with a big yellow sticker saying "wrong type of trash"

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Didnt notice his wife was feeling sick a lot for a few months, then looking radiant in the face, gaining a bit of weight, not having periods for months on end, a bit emotionally different be it either happier or sadder.

A lot of stereotypes there. Not all pregnancies are the same. 25% of women do not suffer from morning sickness, there are lots of possible reasons for weight gain, many women don't have regular periods for various reasons (underweight, overweight, polycystic ovary syndrome), and plenty of women have emotional swings without being pregnant.

As for the "radiant in the face", I'm not sure where you get the idea that that's compulsory from, but I wish that was the case for every woman! I am pregnant, and "tired and drawn in the face" would describe me better currently. Yes, I know I am pregnant, but in my case it was a planned and wanted pregnancy, and I can see how people who weren't planning it might just put symptoms down to something else.

Google "I didn't know I was pregnant" (it's the name of a TV programme) to see how women can go 9 months without realising they are pregnant (and it wasn't filmed in Japan).

While I in no way condone what this girl did, all the people stridently claiming that "she/her family must have known!!" are not necessarily right. There are many well-documented cases of people not knowing they were pregnant themselves, let alone their families.

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The only explanation I can think of is that they were an estranged family who hardly ever saw or spoke to each other and rarely had a meal together, despite living under the same roof.

I find this an entirely plausible explanation.

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poor family, scared girl, very sad situation.

over the past couple of years, japan has entered the modern world concerning maternity care. though the insurance here still covers absolutely zero concerning maternity care, pre/post/delivery, the allowance for birth has been raised to 42 man yen or about 4500 dollars us.

one of the most serious issues is that this allowance was only paid after delivery but now there is a process where you can assign the allowance to the hospital and vouchers are now available for prenatal care as well. my wife, after having recently conceived found this out when we went to the clinic last week in Kyoto. before, it was necessary to have 5 to 6 thousand bucks (50 man yen) in order to have prenatal care and give birth, now a person can essentially go thru the birth process for a couple man yen.

the local goverments and ngo's need to get this information out and a lot of these tragic cases might be avoided. for the first time in 16 years on this rock, I have begun to seen modern movement socially and as we become aware of dramatic changes like this if we can spread the word things may change for the better.

in this case, a little prenatal care and a mother not facing bankruptcy at the prospect of her daughter giving birth might have saved this infants tragic death. rather than calling for the girls head, lets place the blame where it belongs with a society that allowed this situation and applaud the recent efforts to bring social advance.

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abortions pills like Mifepristone were available

yes it is available. but for a teenage girl to get it, she probably would have to talk to her mother first. just wishing the mom was there for her before the girl had to make such a terrible decision.

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over the past couple of years, japan has entered the modern world concerning maternity care. though the insurance here still covers absolutely zero concerning maternity care, pre/post/delivery, the allowance for birth has been raised to 42 man yen or about 4500 dollars us.

Yes yes.. and As of January 2007, the government of Japan has decided to make up to 5 maternity check-ups free of charge in every prefecture at designated hospitals. Currently it is discussed to make it free of charge up to 14 times. The delivery fee (up to 420000yen) can be reimbursed after the delivery, or can get advance payment before delivery when you submit certain papers at your local government office.

I don't think the reason why this girl tried to hide her pregnancy was just the matter of money but she was more like scared and was afraid of what people around her would react .. so many unknowns. She needed someone (ideally her mom) to talk about her problems.

But anyways, for anyone who does not go to the hospital for maternity check-ups and delivery because of money problems, just a simple visit to your local government office would give you enough information for the money to be covered, or even on the internet there's lots of information available. Not going to get check-ups and not delivering your baby at an appropriate place with the help of professionals is a poor choice.. it is not shoganai, people make poor choices before knowing all the options.

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I mainly agree with fishy. My first reaction was--How the heck did her family not notice she was pregnant?! But as fishy pointed out, she may have been in a family that wasn't that close. And as I thought more about it, I realized how it could happen.

For example, a single mother trying to raise two daughters by herself wouldn't have necessarily been aware of the changes in her daughter's body and moods; especially when a teenage girl is generally going to gain weight and be emotional at that time in her life anyway.

It's believable that a young, naive, uneducated girl may not know she is pregnant but I've gotta say that I find it harder to believe that a mature woman would not notice even subtle changes in her body, cycle, moods and so on.

In this case, it seems as though the girl did know and yet sadly felt she had no one to turn to. Of course what she did was disturbingly wrong and should be held accountable for her actions but if we remember that she is indeed a girl then I think we can all feel some sympathy for her.

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The main problem here seems to be a complete lack of preparation, which could be the result of many things, including denial. But if the prep sucks, so will the after-event clean-up. Yes, they should have all prepared better and been aware. But they weren't. Arresting the young woman won't help.

What disgusts me most of all is that some idiot male out there caused a pregnancy that never needed to happen. He could have prevented it with complete ease, but he did not. And he left a young woman to struggle with this without his help.

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What I'm suspicious about is this*

believing the child to be dead,

So far we only have her word on that, right?

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Police said the girl lives with her family but they failed to realize she was pregnant.

I'm a bit loss on this one; mothers usually can tell what's up with their teen daughters when it comes to things like this. I think mom knew but was afraid to approach the subject in fear of retribution, something common in Japan these days.

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What about the umbilical cord cutting thing? Did she cut it herself or is that necessary or what?

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Garbage! Just because you don't notice doesn't mean it is not noticed by the mother

Garbage. I'veknown people who were pregannat and did not exhibit any sort of 'bump'. Stop presuming you know everything about everything; you make yourself look like more of a moron than you already are.

I feel sorry for the girl. In this case, I believe she was lonely, frightened and scared, NOT selfish, and with nowhere to go. They should haul the 'father' in.

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MistWizard:"The main problem here seems to be a complete lack of preparation, which could be the result of many things, including denial." & "What disgusts me most of all is that some idiot male out there caused a pregnancy that never needed to happen."

Perhaps it was also the fact that she was 17 at the time she got pregnant and her lack of maturity had a lot to do with things!

But that couldn't be could it seeing you have told us all how sex and love in the case of minors is a personal choice and minors are old enough to make their own decisions.

And yes where has the "male"? Or was it another child also not Mature enough to make an informed decision or was it one of those nice older men who like young girls as long as things don't get complicated and who knows that under Japanese law as long as he keeps his mouth shut and does not admit being the father he will have no responsibility.

Lets hear it for teenage sex and child protection in Japan.

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Sorry mistype it should be "where WAS the male" and not "where has the male"

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If the girl's mother didn't know, what are the odds she told the baby's father?

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Looks like many people on this forum are as uneducated as the 18 y.o schoolgirl from the article.

Any educated person would know that it's totally possible for a pregnany to go totally unnoticed by the mother until delivery.

It's an admitted fact. Do your research people.

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Any educated person would know that it's totally possible for a pregnany to go totally unnoticed by the mother until delivery.

Very true. I remember reading one story, about a woman who had had a large family already. Like 6 or 7 kids. Neither she, nor her family realized she was pregnant again until she was in labor. Ended up giving birth on their families living room sofa.

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Agreed. Such things have been known to happen. It has also been known to occur that the "male" is unaware of his impending parenthood. What this story does suggest, is that there is something fundamentally wrong in Japanese society—and, judging by some of the comments made, there may well be something amiss in some other cultures as well.

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The parents must be blind to not notice a pregnancy regardless of how fat the 18 year may have been. The parents should also be charged.

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who's the daddy?

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limboinjapan said: Perhaps it was also the fact that she was 17 at the time she got pregnant and her lack of maturity had a lot to do with things!

Perhaps. But also education might have had something to do with it. And how she was raised.

But that couldn't be could it seeing you have told us all how sex and love in the case of minors is a personal choice and minors are old enough to make their own decisions.

And have you suggested that legal adults are old enough to make their own decisions? Pretty much the same thing has been reported here where it was a 20 or 30 something. My God! I honestly hope you don't actually believe this one 18 year old represents them all!

I have also suggested that parents be legally required to be consulted for dating with a minor. But you know what? There are always going to be idiots in this world, and if not for them and just plain evil people, we not need any rules! No rule will be perfect. And the rules you love did not prevent this, did they?

Or was it another child also not Mature enough to make an informed decision

An informed decision also requires information. You know that? And it does not come by osmosis! An older person can be just as uninformed, or misinformed even. They can be just plain evil too. I want to go after the evil men. I want to educate the uneducated. But pregnancy is so darned easy to prevent I really can't understand your attitude.

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What an idiot! This entire family makes me sick! The mother did not realize her daughter had a big belly?? sounds really, really fishy, 100% BS! RIP little baby boy.

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