A seven-year-old boy is still missing after his parents left him in a northern Japanese forest as punishment for misbehaving.
Yamato Tanooka has been missing since Saturday afternoon after his parents made him get out of their car to discipline him for throwing stones and left him behind in a wooded area on Hokkaido.
Members of Japan’s military are now involved in the search, Thursday marks the fifth day of the search, with no clues regarding his fate.
A search team of roughly 200, including 75 members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, are looking for the boy, according to local media reports.
He was last seen wearing a t-shirt and jeans near a wooded area on Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands, which is also known for bears. The overnight temperatures can fall as low as 7 C.
“We still have no clue. We just do not know where he went,” rescue team spokesperson Satoshi Saito told CNN Wednesday. “Our fatigue level is peaking now. But we will continue to search for the boy.”
The Japan Times reports the parents had originally told police he became lost while they were out hiking, but later admitted they were angry after he threw stones at cars and people and had tried to discipline him.
When they returned to find him, he had disappeared.
Military support was requested after rescuers and police officers scoured areas up to 15 kilometres from where the boy was last seen, with heavy rain at times hampering the search.
“The military personnel will scour the mountain slope,” Saito, told media. “Unless he started climbing the mountain, he would have hit a main road after walking for two to two kilometres in any other direction.”
With files from Andrew Russell, Global News