Yamato Tanooka, 7-year-old, who was abandoned by his parents in the forest last week has been found on Friday. The parents were upset with Yamato for throwing rocks at people and cars. They told him to leave the car by the forest in Hokkaido and when they came back, Yamato was missing. The forest is home to bears.
A massive search of around 180 people was organized to search for the missing child. However, the search was unsuccessful.
The boy was found at military training ground on Friday morning. “One of our soldiers was preparing for drills this morning and opened the door of a building on the base, and there he was. When he asked, ‘Are you Yamato?’ The boy said, ‘Yes’. Then he said he was hungry, so the soldier gave him water, bread, and rice balls,” a member of the Japan’s Self-Defense Forces informed NHK.
Yamato was airlifted to the hospital with signs of dehydration and some minor scars. He has been examined and is doing well.
“I deeply apologize to people at his school, people in the rescue operation, and everybody for causing them trouble,” said Takayuki Tanooka, Yamato’s father, with trembling voice and tears.
“I told him [Yamato] I was so sorry for causing him such pain… I would like to protect him while he grows up. Thank you very much, he added.
Many admire the tenacity and perseverance of Yamato to survive. There are currently no police investigation. Child abuse or abandonment is common in Japan. This incident has sparked a debate in Japan regarding the parents’ decision as disciplinary act or otherwise.