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Japanese boy found safe and well after six days missing in dense forest

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Japanese boy found safe and well after six days missing in dense forest

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  • Missing boy found safe after a week
  • Left by side of road for being naughty
  • Six-day search has gripped Japan

A small boy missing since Saturday in a dense, remote forest in Japan has been found alive and well.

Seven-year-old Yamato Tanooka was found
at a military camp near Shikabe in northern Hokkaido, the country’s northernmost island.

The site is several kilometres from where he was last seen six days ago.

Scores of rescuers, including troops, have been searching the area where the boy was thought to have been left.

He managed to survive for almost a week in the densely-forested area. Temperatures at night fell as low as seven degrees Celsius (45 Fahrenheit). There was also heavy rain and Yamato was only wearing a T-shirt and jeans.

How was he found?

Yamato was found by a soldier on a parade ground at a military barracks.

The Kyodo news service says he told police he had been there for several days after wandering in the forest.

He has been taken to hospital by helicopter, where he was reportedly happy to be reunited with his parents.

What will happen now?

The hospital says Yamato has some light injuries and has only taken in water over the last week.

He will remain in hospital for at least a day, health workers say.

Parental discipline


The case has sparked a row in Japan about methods of parental discipline.

The boy’s parents had made him get out of their car as a punishment for bad behaviour on Saturday.

They left him in an area of woodland known to be inhabited by bears.

They first said he disappeared while they were foraging for edible plants. However, they later admitted to police they had left him by the road to discipline him for throwing stones at people and other cars.

What they are saying

“One of our soldiers was preparing for drills this morning and opened the door of a building on the base and there he was,” – Self-Defence Force spokesperson on NHK national television.

“We loved him before, but I hope to give him even more attention now. We have reflected on what we did and it was really excessive,” –
Takayuki Tanooka, Yamato’s father.

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