Japanese couple admit leaving their 7 year old child in woods

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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.

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