With every passing hour, the chances of finding little Yamato Tanooka alive are growing slimmer despite a massive search.
The seven-year-old boy was last seen deep in a forest near Nanae town on the island of Hokkaido, in northen Japan.
Yamato’s disappearance was reported by his parents on Saturday afternoon.
Initially they said they had been picking wild plants when he went missing. But they later confessed to police that they had intentionally left the boy in the forest to discipline him for throwing rocks at people and cars earlier in the day.
With no sign of his son since, Yamato’s father now admits he couldn’t at first bring himself to request a search, giving the real reason for the boy’s disappearance.
Yamato’s parents said they drove about 500 metres away and when they returned shortly afterwards they couldn’t find their son, who was last seen in a t-shirt and jeans.
Wild bears are known to roam in the area.