A seven year old boy was left in a bear infested forest by his parents and consequently ended up spending six nights alone while rescuers looked for him.
The father of Yamato Tanooka delivered an emotional apology in front of a packed media conference in Japan over the weekend. He spoke of his regret and shame of leaving his young son alone in the woods of Hokkaido as punishment. The father also apologised to the team of police and rescuers who spent many hours and days looking for his young son.
It seems the police felt the apology to be sincere and have decided not to lay charges against they boy’s parents. “We plan not to regard it as a criminal case,” a Hokkaido police spokesman said. The case will however be bought to the attention of social services.
Yamato’s parents kicked him out of the car as a form of punishment for throwing stones earlier in the day. They drove off but when they returned to pick him up he was gone.
The young boy, who was wearing only shorts and a t-shirt, made his way to an empty Japanese air force building where he spent six nights alone. He was in good health when a soldier discovered him- but was very hungry and cold.
While delivering his apology, the father was very emotional: “My excessive act forced my son to have a painful time,” he said. “I deeply apologise to people at his school, people in the rescue operation, and everybody for causing them trouble.
“The first thing I said to my son was, ‘I’m very sorry to have caused you to face this suffering because of me.’
We have raised him with love all along … I really didn’t think it would come to that. We went too far. We — well, we loved him before, but I hope to give him even more attention now.”.
Photos courtesy of Google images.