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Japanese Boy Yamato Tanooka Found Alive After Spending Six Days on Mountain

A happy ending. Yamato Tanooka, a 7-year-old Japanese boy who was abandoned on a mountain by his parents as punishment, was found alive on Friday, June 3, The New York Times reports.

Takayuki Tanooka (right) meets with reporters on June 3, 2016, in the northern Japan city of Hakodate, after his 7-year-old son, Yamato, was found safe after being left behind in mountain forests on May 28 as punishment for misbehaving.

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Tanooka was missing for six days after his parents left him on the northern island of Hokkaido last Saturday. According to the NYT, his family initially told authorities that they lost him while they were looking for wild plants, but later changed their story and admitted that they wanted to discipline him for throwing rocks at cars and people.

Members of the Ground Self-Defense Force conduct a search operation for Yamato Tanooka, a 7-year-old boy who has been missing since May 28, in a forest at Nanae town, in Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido Thursday, June 2, 2016.

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Yamato was found unharmed near a military base, 3 miles from where he was abandoned. He reportedly told police that he drank water from a stream and most likely stayed at a nearby cabin. As a precaution, he was taken to Hakodate Municipal Hospital for observation.

It has yet to be determined whether Yamato’s parents will be criminally charged for their actions. The boy’s father, Takayuki Tanooka, apologized during a press conference this week.

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“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,” he said. “I really didn’t think things would turn out this way. I think my actions were very excessive, and I deeply regret it.”

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