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Japanese boy lost sense of direction in Hokkaido woods because he was crying

By Shawn Price
The 7-year-old Japanese boy who was missing in a Hokkaido forest for nearly a week said he lost direction because he was crying so much. He intended to walk along the road, following the direction of his parents' car, after they forced him to get out, but crying disoriented him and he went the opposite direction. He was found in a military training hut after six nights. Photo by Greanggrai Hommalai/Shutterstock
The 7-year-old Japanese boy who was missing in a Hokkaido forest for nearly a week said he lost direction because he was crying so much. He intended to walk along the road, following the direction of his parents' car, after they forced him to get out, but crying disoriented him and he went the opposite direction. He was found in a military training hut after six nights. Photo by Greanggrai Hommalai/Shutterstock

SAPPORO, Japan, June 5 (UPI) -- The seven-year-old boy found after nearly a week in the forest in northern Japan, said he lost direction because he was crying so much.

Yamato Tanooka told authorities he intended to walk in the direction of his father's car after his parents drove away, but he was crying so much that lost his sense of direction and walked the opposite way, sources close to the case said Sunday.

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Tanooka was found six days later inside at hut at the Self-Defense Forces training facility southwest Hokkaido. The boy said he was scared of the mountain, so he followed the road until he came to the training facility. He told authorities the door was unlocked and he went inside keep warm and sleep. He slept on a bed, and drank water from a tap outside the hut, but had no food.

The boy saw no one while he was missing, but stayed at the facility figuring he would eventually be found, authorities said.

Tanooka is still recovering at a Hokkaido hospital in good condition, but about 4 pounds lighter.

The Hokkaido prefectural police have referred Yamato's parents to a child guidance center and the center will determine if the parents' action might be considered child abuse after the family is interviewed.

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