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Search continues for boy abandoned in forest by parents as punishment
Last Updated: 2016-06-01 13:30 | Xinhua
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Japanese rescuers and policemen searched for a fourth day on Wednesday in a forest for a missing seven-year-old boy abandoned by his parents, but there are still no clues about his fate, rescuers said.

Yamato Tanooka was left in a mountainous area of the northernmost island of Hokkaido by his parents on Saturday punish him for being naughty.

The parents said they drove about 500 meters down the road after leaving their son alone, but when they went back to the site, Yamato was no longer there.

At first, they said the boy got lost while the family was walking to pick wild vegetables. However, the 44-year-old father Takayuki Tanooka told the police later that they left the boy in the forest to punish him after he threw stones at people and cars.

"We have done an unforgivable thing to our child, and we have caused lots of trouble for everyone," Takayuki told local TV reporters.

The boy was wearing navy shorts, a black pullover and red sneakers, a police spokesman said.

Thousands of people reacted with anger on social media. They expressed worries over Yamato's safety as the temperature in the area falls to seven degrees Celsius at night.

"I really hope that he can be found as soon as possible. Can't imagine how he was left alone and hungry in that cold forest," said a post on Twitter.

Also the parents were also blamed for being irresponsible and neglectful.

"He doesn't deserve this. His parents should go to prison for abandoning him," another Tweet said.

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