Japanese boy abandoned as punishment found alive after 6 days

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Yamato Tanooka’s, a 7-year-old Japanese boy who was abandoned in a forest as punishment for misbehaving, has been found alive after nearly six days, local police say. He is believed to be unharmed.

Yamato was found on Friday morning when he showed up at a military training facility in the town of Shikabe on the northern island of Hokkaido. He was asked if his name was Yamato Tanooka, and he said yes.

Local police said Yamato appeared to be in relatively good health and showed no signs of injuries. It was not immediately clear where Yamato may have been during his disappearance, which prompted a massive search operation in the mountainous area.

Yamato went missing at around 5 p.m. last Saturday when his parents left him by the side of a road as a form of punishment for throwing stones at people. When the family returned 5 minutes later to let him back in the car, he was nowhere to be found.

Yamato’s parents initially told police that their son disappeared while picking plants, but his father later admitted what had happened.

“I told a lie because I was afraid I would be criticized,” his father said earlier this week, according to NHK. “I’m sorry for my son, and I’m sorry for causing so much trouble for so many people. I’m just hoping that my son comes back safely as soon as possible.”

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