Yamoto Tanooka, the seven-year-old abandoned by his parents as punishment in a mountainous forest, has been found.
The boy was left on Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido, last Saturday by his parents, allegedly because he threw stones at people and cars.
The boy’s father, Takayuki Tanooka told television reporters they left the boy beside the road and returned minutes later to find he had disappeared.
“We have done an unforgivable thing to our child and we have caused a lot of trouble for everyone,” he told television reporters.
The island is known for its dense forest, heavy rainfall, low overnight temperatures and a large population of bears. The boy apparently travelled alone between five and seven kilometres into the forest, during heavy rains, surviving without food or clean water.
The boy, uninjured, was found curled up on a mattress under the shelter of an abandoned military barracks when rescuers found him. He was taken to Hakodate hospital by helicopter.
Mr Tanooka has apologised to his son and his rescuers, acknowledging he and his wife “went too far”. “My excessive act forced my son to have a painful time,” he told Japanese media in an emotional briefing outside the hospital.
Police are considering filing charges of negligence against the parents over the abandonment. – Samantha Besgrove, Zabrina Potestas and Joseph Walz
Photo of Yamoto Tanooka from CNN’s twitter feed.