A seven-year-old boy went missing in the mountains of northern Japan, after his parents left him alone in the jungle as a punishment.

The region of northern Hokkaido, where Yamato Tanooka was left, is a home to wild bears. It has been three days since the child was last seen, as his parents abandoned him in the wild to discipline him.

According to The BBC, at the beginning, the couple told police that the kid got lost in the jungle while the family was picking plants and berries. However, now the parents of the missing child have admitted that they had left him.

In the confession, the parents said that they had left him alone for five minutes to punish. But while they came back, the child was gone.

After the incident came into light, hundreds of emergency service workers and rescuers are searching the area, to aid in search of the boy.

On Monday, Japanese rescuers expanded the area of the search for the boy. Around 180 rescuers and police officers widened the search area.

They combed the jungle with sniffer dogs and horses to enter the deeper areas of the woodlands.

Yamato visited a park near the forest on Saturday, along with his older sister, mother and father. The boy was throwing stones at cars and people.

This made the parents angry, according to Japanese police and media reports.

According to South China Morning Post, while the family was going back home, Yamato was made to get out of the car and was left alone in the forest. After that the parents drove the car about 500 metres away.

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“They said they went back to the site immediately but the boy was no longer there,” a local police spokesman said.

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“I feel very sorry for my child,” the father told reporters.

“I am so sorry for causing trouble for many people.”