IBTimes UK

The 7-year-old Japanese boy who went missing nearly a week ago in a dense forest in the northern island of Hokkaido, was found alive and healthy on Friday morning.

Yamato Tanooka was left alone in the forest by his parents as a punishment for throwing stones and when they returned after a few minutes he had vanished. The police said the boy was found by a soldier in a military barrack near Shikabe town in northern Hokkaido.

CNN reported that Yamato was found 6 kilometers from the spot where he was left. Yamato told the police that he reached the barracks the first night after walking alone in the forest.

Japan's NHK network said that the boy's parents identified their son and took him to the hospital for checkups.

Yamato appeared to be in good condition for someone who did not have food for seven days. The doctor said he showed signs of mild dehydration and malnutrition. He had a light rash on his arms and legs.

More than 180 rescuers including the Self-Defence Forces (SDF) have been searching the bear-infested area to rescue the missing boy.

Yamato's parents initially said he got lost while picking wild vegetables with the family. But later they admitted they left him alone on a mountain road as a punishment for throwing stones. When they returned to take him shortly afterwards, he had disappeared, they said.

Yamato's father told the Japanese media that he was "very sorry" for the child, and also "for causing trouble for many people". However, the police has said the parents might face charges for negligence.

IBTimes UK