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Yamato Tanooka blames himself, forgives dad

Yamato Tanooka
Yamato Tanooka

HAKODATE, HOKKAIDO (TR) – A boy who was found after he went missing for several days after his parents left him in bear-inhabited woods as punishment said he blames himself over the incident and forgives his father, the Sankei Shimbun reported on Sunday (June 5).

Yamato Tanooka, 7, who went missing for several days in mountainous bear-inhabited forests in Nanae, Hokkaido, reportedly said, “I was wrong, I didn’t listen to what my dad was saying.”

Yamato was reunited with his parents and sister in an emergency room at a hospital on Friday after he was found in a military facility by a Self-Defense Forces soldier, who was not part of the search that made headlines around the world.

Yamato was quoted as saying, “Dad is nice, so I forgive him,” referring to his 44-year-old father Takayuki Tanooka.

His family hasn’t heard the details of Yamato’s ordeals, but Takayuki reportedly asked his son whether he was “able to sleep all on his own.”

Yamato allegedly responded nonchalantly, “I was OK even though I was lonely.”

Takayuki cried as he said, “It’s like (my son) was never alone all along, I’m so relieved he’s in good shape.”

According to Reuters, Yamato will remain hospitalized for the time being.