KAGOSHIMA--Fifteen fetuses in bottles of formaldehyde were discovered in a dilapidated maternity clinic here that shut down 20 or so years ago.

City authorities, in a central government news journal Feb. 1, called for any information that could shed light on the identities of the fetuses.

They were discovered last November and cremated the following month.

The city treated the fetuses as "koryo shibonin" (people who died on a journey), referring to the fact they remain unidentified and unclaimed.

The grim discovery was made at the Torimaru maternity clinic as it was being demolished in the city's Matsubaracho district, according to local officials and other sources.

The sexes of the fetuses are unknown but they were all believed to be between 12 and 31 weeks old. The doctor who ran the clinic is deceased.

Kagoshima prefectural police investigated the matter, but reported to city authorities that they were unable to determine if a crime had been committed.