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yamato tanooka

Police: Parents who abandoned son in Japanese woods won't be charged

The Japanese parents who left their son in the woods last month as a form of punishment won't face criminal charges, a spokesman for the Hokkaido Prefectural Police said Monday.

Tohifumi Goto told CNN that police did file a complaint against the parents with the Child Constitution Office in Hakodate City on suspicion of psychological abuse. On May 28, 7-year-old Yamato Tanooka was left by his father, Takayuki, on the side of a road in the woods as punishment for throwing rocks at cars and people during a family trip. When he came back to collect his son a few minutes later, Yamato was gone. Hundreds of rescuers canvassed across the woods for six days, searching for the boy, and he was discovered on Friday after sheltering inside an empty military building and using a tap there to drink water.

During a press conference after his son was found, Takayuki Tanooka said he "never thought the situation would develop in such a way. I thought it would be good for him, but it was too much," and on Monday he told a Japanese broadcaster he apologized to Yamato, who said he forgave him, the BBC reports. The doctor that examined Yamato after he was found said that he seemed to be in good shape for a child that had gone without food for several days. He was hospitalized on Friday and treated intravenously for dehydration and signs of malnutrition, and was released on Tuesday.