Parents left boy, 7, in mountains as punishment

Brown bears live in the area where the boy was left.
Brown bears live in the area where the boy was left.

The parents of a 7-year-old Japanese boy missing in the mountains have said they had left him as a punishment and he did not get lost during a hike as first claimed, police said.

More than 150 rescuers and police officers were searching for a second day in mountains on the Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan's main islands, after Yamato Tanooka went missing, a police spokesman said.

His parents first told police Yamato got lost while the family were out walking in the area, a habitat of bears, to pick wild vegetables. But the parents later admitted they had lied, he said.

"The parents left the boy in the mountains as a punishment," the spokesman said. "They said they went back to the site immediately but the boy was no longer there."

The father told a TV Asahi reporter he did not dare admit the truth while requesting a search.


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