Abandoned 7-year-old boy found after a week, father says sorry

Yamato Tanooka was found at a military base and has been reunited with his parents

Tokyo: A seven-year-old boy, who was missing since being abandoned in a bear-inhabited forest in northern Japan as a punishment nearly a week ago was found alive yesterday and reunited with his parents, officials said.

Yamato Tanooka and Yamato’s father. Pics/AFP
Yamato Tanooka and Yamato’s father. Pics/AFP

The boy, apparently unharmed and in good health, was discovered at a military base. Reports said he had taken shelter in a hut and found a tap to drink from but was hungry and immediately asked for food when he was discovered.

“A self-defence force official who was on a drill found a boy whose age appeared to be seven,” said Tomohito Tamura, spokesman for police in Hokkaido Island.

“There was no conspicuous external injury, and the boy introduced himself as Yamato Tanooka,” he said, adding that the boy’s parents were reunited with him and confirmed he was their son.

The child’s sobbing father related the emotional reunion in a television interview. “I apologised to Yamato,” his father said in a phone interview.

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