More than 150 rescue workers are searching for Yamato Tanooka, who has been missing for two days, after his parents left him alone on Saturday in Nanae, Hokkaido – an island in northern Japan whose woods are known to be home to wild bears.
Yamato’s parents initially told police he had gone missing while the family were walking in the area and picking wild vegetables, The Japan Times reports.
The parents later admitted they had lied about the circumstances of the boy’s disappearance.
The boy’s 44-year-old father, Takayuki, told police they left him in the mountains on the way home from a park to punish him for throwing stones at cars driving on a street nearby.
The couple said they had walked around 500m from the child before returning.
Takayuki told a TV Asahi reporter he didnot dare admit the truth while requesting a search.
“The parents left the boy in the mountains as punishment,” a police spokesman said. “They said they went back to the site immediately but the boy was no longer there.” —