Search for child left in forest as 'punishment' by parents enters third day in Japan

About 130 rescue workers are looking in an area also home to wild bears

Jess Staufenberg
Monday 30 May 2016 08:23
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The boy was left for five minutes in a forest on the northern most island of Japan
The boy was left for five minutes in a forest on the northern most island of Japan

The search has resumed for a seven-year-old boy who was left alone in the mountains as a punishment by his parents.

Yamato Tanooka is being sought for the third day running by about 130 rescue workers in Nanae, an area on the southern tip of Japan's northern-most island, Hokkaido.

His parents have admitted they drove about a third of a mile away from their son to punish him after he threw stones at nearby cars during a day at the park.

When they returned to the area, which is also a habitat for wild bears, the boy was no longer there.

“The parents left the boy in the mountains as punishment,” a police spokesman told the Japan Times.

“They said they went back to the site immediately but the boy was no longer there.”

The boy's 44-year-old-father, Takayki, had originally told the police their son had disappeared while they were picking wild vegetables but an hour later admitted they had made him get out of the car "as discipline".

The father told a TV Asahi reporter he did not dare admit the truth while requesting a search.

Kyodo News say police are investigating whether the case is subject to child abandonment.

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