Japanese boy Yamato Tanooka has been found in “relatively good health” after he went missing in the woods last week. “The boy was found alive, but we don’t have information on details of his condition,” fire department rescue officer Satoshi Saito told AFP.
According to a Japanese media outlet, 7-year-old Tanooka was recovered from the military barracks in the town of Shikabe. Japan’s NHK network stated that the boy has identified himself to the military official who discovered him. He was served with food and drink immediately and was also taken to a hospital.
The boy’s parents left him alone in bear-infested woods on Hokkaido Island with an intention to punish him for misbehavior last Saturday. When the parents searched for the boy a while later, they could not find him anywhere. Initial reports stated that the parents previously claimed that they lost their child as they went foraging for wild vegetables. BBC reported that the parents, specifically father Takayuki Tanooka, eventually confessed to leaving him alone in the forest, not expecting to not find the boy when they got back.
Search teams have been involved in the search of the Japanese boy for a week. When the boy’s chances of recovery felt slim, the parents faced criticisms worldwide. The search was conducted by both military officials as well as hunters. The matter came into the focus of both national and international media. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Self-Defense Force official who discovered the boy on the island said that he was found in a small building where military training was held. The place is around seven kilometers from the point where he went missing.
The Guardian stated that an SDF soldier was interviewed by TV Asahi. “We asked the SDF to go into places which people can’t easily access, such as deep crevasses along creeks,” Mitsuru Wakayama, spokesperson for the town, told AFP.
ANN will report more details about this developing story.