The young Japanese boy who was dumped by his parents nearly a week ago in a remote forest as punishment for misbehaving on a road trip has been found alive.
Kyodo News is reporting the young boy, Yamato Tanooka, was found by "military personnel" early Friday morning. Soldiers found him curled up on a mattress in an empty building in the town of Shikabe, five kilometres from where he was dumped by his parents six days ago.
"The boy was found alive, but we don't have information on details of his condition," rescuer Satoshi Saito told the AFP. Yamato has reportedly been taken to hospital, after braving six days of heavy rainfall and overnight temperatures of just seven degrees.
The sprawling manhunt for Yamato has gripped Japan after his parents admitted they kicked the seven-year-old out of the family car without food or water, stranding the him in bear-infested woodland in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island.
Originally, Yamato's parents told police their son had wandered off while the family was hiking. However, it quickly emerged the boy was actually abandoned to "discipline" him for throwing stones at other cars. "The parents left the boy in the mountains as a punishment," a spokesman said. "They said they went back to the site immediately but the boy was no longer there."
"I feel very sorry for my son," Yamato's father Takayuki told reporters earlier this week. "I am so sorry for causing trouble for so many people." Police told media they were looking into charging the boy's parents with neglect.
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More as this story develops.