A boy who had been missing since Saturday was found Friday morning in a town in Hokkaido, northern Japan.
Yamato Tanooka was found at a Self-Defense Force exercise range in Shikabe Town, about 4 kilometers from the spot where he went missing 6 days ago.
When an SDF member found the boy inside a rest facility on the range, the 7-year-old said his name was Yamato. Police say his parents later confirmed his identity.
The boy was taken by helicopter to a hospital, where he appeared happy to be reunited with his parents. The hospital says he has sustained light injuries and was apparently only taking in water over the past week. It says he will remain in the hospital for at least a day.
The boy was quoted by police as saying that he had been inside the facility since the night of May 28th, when he went missing. He also told police that he had walked through the mountains before reaching the facility and that he had been drinking water.
The boy’s parents left him on the side of the road in the woods in neighboring Nanae Town.
They said they did this to punish him for bad behavior. They said they went back for him immediately afterwards, but that he was nowhere to be found.
A massive search was carried out, involving police, fire-fighters and Self-Defense Force personnel.
The boy’s father has offered an apology.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Takayuki Tanooka said he is deeply sorry for causing his son to endure such tremendous hardship and for creating trouble for all those involved in the search.
The 44-year-old father said he is filled with gratitude to all the parties involved.
He added that he will look after his son with even more affection.
Source and image: NHK