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Police officers and firefighters are searching for a little boy whose parents left him alone in a forest as a 'punishment' for four days.
Seven-year-old Yamato Tanooka went missing early on Saturday evening after his parents left him in a forest because he had been throwing stones at people and cars.
The parents insist that they only left him alone 'for five minutes' before coming back to find him - but he had disappeared. Even more worrying is the fact that the area in which he's disappeared is known to be inhabited by bears.
The Guardian reported that Mitsuru Wakayama, a spokesman for the nearby town of Nanae, said: "Not many people or cars pass by, and it gets totally dark as there are no lights.
"It's not surprising to encounter bears anywhere in the area."
When they were first asked, Yamato's parents claimed their son had gone missing while the family were collecting edible plants in a park. However, they later admitted that they had left him in the forest to 'discipline' him.
On the way back from the park, Yamato's parents told him to get out of the car and they proceeded to drive on for another '500 metres' (according to statements given to loval police).
However, when his father walked back to collect the child around five minutes later, he was nowhere to be found.
A team of 180 firefighters and police officers are still scouring the mountain forest.
Featured image credit: AudiovisualTelam
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