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Rescuers find Japanese boy alive after he was abandoned in forest

Rescuers have located a seven-year-old boy who was reported missing for a week in a Japanese forest. His parents say they abandoned him on Japan's northern Hokkaido island as punishment for misbehaving.

A seven-year-old boy who had been missing since his parents

abandoned him in a forest

in northern Japan a week ago has been found, officials said Friday.

The boy, who is apparently in good health and unharmed, was found inside a military base at around 7:50 a.m. local time (2250 UTC), a police spokesman said.

"A Self-Defense Force official who was on a drill found a boy whose age appeared to be seven," he said. "There was no conspicuous external injury, and the boy introduced himself as Yamato Tanooka."

He was later airlifted to a nearby hospital for a check-up.

The boy's parents said they made him get out of their car on a mountain road on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido as punishment for misbehaving last Saturday. The parents originally told police their son had got lost while the family was out hiking, but later admitted they were trying to punish him for throwing stones at people and cars.

The child was reportedly without food and water when he was left behind in the forest, which is inhabited by bears.

The military base where the boy was found is reportedly located about 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) northeast of the site where he went missing. The local Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper reported the boy told police he had taken shelter in a hut inside the base.

More than 180 rescuers including Japanese troops had been searching for the boy since he went missing. Police are determining whether the boy's parents should be charged with child abandonment, according to Kyodo news.

"I feel very sorry for my child," the father told a television reporter earlier this week as the story unfolded. "I am so sorry for causing trouble for many people."

Watch video 01:16

Japanese missing boy found alive

bw/gsw (AFP, AP)

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