Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hope in Japan

My daughter sent me a link to this story yesterday. The birth of a Japanese baby saved lives with its arrival. In the country of Japan, which has a suicidal birth rate, 1.4 children per woman - the second lowest in the developed world (South Korea is first) - the fact that this couple had a third child is good news.

MINAMISANRIKU (Reuters) - Searching through piles of bodies after Japan's March 11 tsunami, Kenji Sato was struck by the thought -- he could easily have been one of them, had it not been for his son born earlier that day.

In a fortunate twist of fate, Sato, a wiry descendant of fishermen in his coastal hometown of Minamisanriku, took time off from work to see his third child, Haruse, born at a hospital in a nearby port city.

Hours later, the only thing left of the nursing home where he would usually have been was a skeleton of steel pillars.....

A year on, the Satos, who all survived since their house was built on a hill, are planning a quiet birthday with some cake and ice cream for the child who, his grandmother Kazuko insists, "was born to save us."....

After his birth, Haruse -- whose name means "Bright Spring" -- was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, a genetic condition associated with some impairment of cognitive ability."I didn't know anything about it and was worried I won't be able to raise him properly, but we decided to bring him up just like our other two sons," said Hiromi. "The only difference is that we take him to a specialist doctor from time to time."

Yahoo News Canada

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