Local News

Japanese parents who left son in mountains break silence

The Japanese parents who abandoned their child in the woods as ‘punishment’ have spoken out, telling authorities they’ve done an “unforgivable thing.”
Japanese forest

Japanese forest

As the search for the seven-year-old entered its fifth day, the parents of Yamato Tanooka broke their silence after a backlash against them.

The youngster’s father, Takayuki Tanooka, said: “We have done an unforgivable thing to our child and we have caused a lot of trouble for everyone.

“I just hope he is safe.”

The hunt for Yamato has taken up seventy five members of the Japanese defence forces, 200 police, plus volunteers, who have been battling their way through the bush in the Hokkaido island forest.

A hunter has also been assisting police with their enquiries, after fresh bear tracks were found in the area where the youngster disappeared.

The parents initially said they has lost the boy while foraging for plants, but later admitted they left him by the road to discipline him for bad behaviour.

When they returned, the boy had gone.

The area where the boy went missing is so remote locals rarely go through it, and is known for being the habitat of many brown bears.

Many fear that the boy may have succumbed to cold temperatures in the forest , or been taken by a bear.

Related: Parents slammed as neglectful after Gorilla killing

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