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Japan boy left in woods 'as punishment'

Do Not UseDo Not Use 29/05/2016
Map of Japan showing Hokkaido © BBC Map of Japan showing Hokkaido

The parents of a seven-year-old boy missing in the mountains of northern Japan have admitted that they left him alone in the woods as a punishment.

The child has not been seen for two days, since his parents abandoned him in northern Hokkaido, a region home to wild bears.

The couple first told police he got lost as they foraged for vegetables.

But they later confessed they had left him alone for five minutes to punish him but when they returned he had gone.

Hundreds of emergency service workers are combing the area in search of the boy.

The father told a TV Asahi reporter he did not dare admit the truth while requesting a search.

The couple had walked some 500m (a third of a mile) from the child before returning, the TV channel reported.

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