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