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After 5 days, no clues to missing boy's fate in Hokkaido

72 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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72 Comments
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The parents told police that they were punishing the boy, reportedly for throwing rocks at people and cars while playing at a river earlier in the day.

The people searching should be looking down river I fear.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I hope we don't read of arrest for illegal disposal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wasn't aware that there was a debate whether what they did was legitimate discipline or child abuse.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yeah, unfortunately, after 5 days of being lost, the chances of a 7 year old child being found unharmed become quite slim. lets not give up hope though; miracles sometimes do happen

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I saw a map of the search area a couple of days ago, and it was fan-shaped going mainly north. Nearby, there is a train line that heads north east that wasn't in the area indicated on the map. I guess the map is wrong and that its been considered, but it would be the place I would look because it would be the audible-from-far-away logical route out. It also goes through a tunnel.

This is all assuming that the parents' story is true, of course. It does grow more suspicious by the day.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I hope the police have separated the parents for questioning............I have a bad feeling & wonder if they need to be interrogated............

Like everyone else I hope they find the boy, but 5days.............assuming the parents are not lying is a long time, either way its not looking good for the boy & my gut says the parents may not be telling the truth........man I hope I am wrong

7 ( +8 / -1 )

He might not be in the woods at all. There is the possibility that he was abducted by the occupant(s) of a passing car in the area. No matter how remote the area, if the boy's family were there, then there might have been other people in the area too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"triggering a debate over whether their treatment of the boy was discipline or child abuse." What is there to debate? Am I missing something here? As a parent I have to admit that I've 'pretended' to go away and then kept on close eye on my kids to watch their subsequent reaction but they were never out of my sight.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Police said they are considering whether the parents should be charged with child abandonment

A child is not a piece of personal property that a parent can lose in the woods and say "shouganai"

Scenario 1 - The bears got him

If more than one hundred people searching for FOUR DAYS do not encounter any bears, then it is unlikely that the boy would meet a bear if left for a few minutes. A bear would not need to cover its tracks.

Scenario 2 - He wandered off into the woods and died

If more than one hundred people searching for FOUR DAYS do not encounter any signs of the boy, or any signs of the boy ever having been in the woods, it is unlikely that any sign will be found now. A missing boy would not need to cover his tracks.

Scenario 3 - A passing paedophile picked up the boy

Take twenty-one days to persuade the father to confess to "child abandonment" while continuing to look for the abductor bearing in mind that a passing paedophile would need to cover his tracks. Either way, the father does not go home.

Scenario 4 - The father killed the boy and buried him in the woods

After the father has confessed to the "child abandonment" in 'scenario 3' take another twenty-one days to persuade the father to confess to murder and tell the police where to find the body, bearing in mind that a murdering father would need to cover his tracks. Either way, the father does not go home.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I still have faith that the little guy is out there just waiting to be found.

This give me hope

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/four-year-old-miracle-girl-found-alive-after-11-days-in-siberian-taiga-thanks-to-her-puppy/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Scenario 1 - The bears got him

If more than one hundred people searching for FOUR DAYS do not encounter any bears, then it is unlikely that the boy would meet a bear if left for a few minutes. A bear would not need to cover its tracks.

bears wouldn't stay near a large group of humans yelling... they would be attracted to a small animal (in this case the boy) all by itself and defenseless.

But I think the parents killed him or a bear got him. Poor kid ;(

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The case has captured national attention

The case has captured 'international' attention! It's been in the Australian newspapers all week! At the risk of my post being removed for speculating, this kid is not in the forest and the parents are lying through their butts to cover up what really happened to this poor kid!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@TheGodfather, it is also possible that the parents or father killed the boy first at some other location and then used the lost in the woods story as a distraction. If that were the case then some serious interrogation would probably expose that.

If the father's story is true, I think it would be hard to live with himself unless the boy is found safe.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bears, other than grizzlies, are generally herbivores. They will attack if provoked, but do not hunt, nor do they typically kill and/or devour humans.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

After 5 days, no clues to missing boy's fate in Hokkaido

Because the parents aren't talking

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Scenario 1 - The bears got him

Scenario 2 - He wandered off into the woods and died

Scenario 3 - A passing paedophile picked up the boy

Scenario 4 - The father killed the boy and buried him in the woods

Scenario 5 - The boy wandered off in the woods and is cold and hungry somewhere

Scenario 6 - A random passerby picked him up and is taking care of him, without realizing others are looking

Scenario 7 - ....

Scenario 8 - ....

I'm sure others can come up with other scenarios.

Basically it's a bunch of useless speculation. All that really matters is what actually happened, and none of us know that yet.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

And, I thought the parents of the little boy who fell into the gorilla cage were hands down worst parents of the year. We have a new leader in the club house.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a horrible way to discipline a child. I hope by a miraculous chance that the boy is ok and more than anything that these parents are prosecuted for their reckless behaviour and child endangerment. I hope they don't have any more kids and they never have any in the future.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If they haven't found him yet, they might have to expand to a possibly kidnapping

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope he's alright and just hanging out in some unibomber shack

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When they find him take him away from the parents as punishment

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the parent threw him out the car to teach him a lesson...and they only drove a short distance away...and they came back moments later...

All of which they said they had done. Then consider this...

If you are a young child, do you...

Stand still and bawl your eyes out until they return?

Bawl your eyes out and chase after the car?

Or...

Go running off into the scary dark woods where monsters are waiting to eat you up?

I'm guessing we would all go for one of the first two options.

That's why I aint buying the "ran off into the woods" story.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Bears, other than grizzlies, are generally herbivores.

Not a lot of greenery up there in them ice caps. ;)

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It is suspicious. No body found for days. I'm starting to think his father murdered him by accident, hid him somewhere and is using the mountain story as a distraction. The father already lied once.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What matters here is that it has been freaky cold in Hokkaido since he disappeared and if those stupid people are saying the truth that they left their son in the middle of nowhere to discipline him, a 7-year old boy has little chance to survive in this environment. I mean that if really he got lost there, he got in deep sh..., since getting lost in Hokkaido mountains is rarely something that ends well.

I also do believe that the search operations were misguided as it was arbitrary decided that he would not go up the mountain. I think he may have done this, if again we assume that the parents story is true.

Scenario 6 - A random passerby picked him up and is taking care of him, without realizing others are looking

What a weird suggestion. What kind of idiot would not immediately call the police or any competent authority to report that he/she found a boy alone in the mountain?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bears, other than grizzlies, are generally herbivores. They will attack if provoked, but do not hunt, nor do they typically kill and/or devour humans.

Hokkaido bears are a subspecies of brown bear and so are grizzlies. There are about two attacks per year in Hokkaido, usually between bears and wild vegetable foragers. The point of the mountain trip for this family was purportedly vegetable foraging. While the higuma bears in Hokkaido are very shy and avoid humans on trails during daytime, they'd be less likely to avoid a non-adult, particularly at night off the trail.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if there have been any callers to Hokkaido police about an actual kid chucking rocks at their car (eg. 'Anyone with information about a child throwing stones at their car in the ~ area, please contact ~~')

If so, OK, take it from there.

If not, well, take it from there too.

Police and people believing or blaming the parents, or not, is one thing, but there is still a kid to either find or whose disappearance needs investigation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a weird suggestion. What kind of idiot would not immediately call the police or any competent authority to report that he/she found a boy alone in the mountain?

Are you saying this is an impossibility?

Because otherwise, it's one of an infinite number of possibilities about what happened.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is looking very much like the Japanese version of the McCann case.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Are you saying this is an impossibility?

I am saying that it makes no sense. Someone who finds the boy and honestly wants to "care of him", would immediately call for help to find his parents. No need to be Einstein to think to do so.

Because otherwise, it's one of an infinite number of possibilities about what happened.

Infinite number? Please. It may exist a large number of possibilities, but surely not an infinite number of them. Your use of the word infinite seems to be misplaced.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I am saying that it makes no sense.

Are you saying life always makes sense, and that all people always act sensibly 100% of the time without fail?

Because otherwise, it's one of an infinite number of possibilities about what happened.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

“Making children obey by giving them fear or pain is bad parenting,” Naoki Ogi, a professor of education at Hosei University, said in his blog. “It’s abuse.”

When I was a child in the 80s, if I did something really bad, I always was nervous when my dad came home because he would either spank me or yell at me. After that, I became well disciplined and never dared to something to upset my parents. I find nothing wrong with disciplining children if they do something wrong instead of spoiling and letting them walk all over me.

This case however is beyond terrible and should in no way be compared to normal parents disciplining their children while earning their respect in a normal fashion. I feared my father as a child and respect him for allowing me to become who I am today.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@saibot

I hear ya...but in this case the J-cops will question the parents.

Kinda has a balloon boy ring to it too. (and look how that turned out)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's either buried somewhere or at the bottom of the sea.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Are you saying life always makes sense, and that all people always act sensibly 100% of the time without fail?

Again it does not take people to be rocket scientists to understand that when they find a lost child, the most natural thing to do is to call for help. Nobody with good intents and normally constituted would keep a lost child for five days without letting anyone know.

Trying to argue the contrary is ridiculous but you are free to believe in ludicrous things. I am however politely asking you to stop asking me silly questions.

And again I would also suggest you to look for what infinite actually means. The universe is probably infinite, the number of causes that can explain how a child disappeared in a known circumstance surely not.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

With nearly 200 people searching, they would have found tracks by now if the story and location were real.

It seems clear the boy was murdered and his body dumped somewhere else.

That is, unless the police are so incompetent that they are not using any trackers in their search party. They should have also used a FLIR equipped helicopter to pick up heat signatures.

5 days is a long time for a boy that age in that area. Not much hope he will be find alive even if it wasn't his parents that murdered him in the first place.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Readers, please focus your comments on the story and not at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland - I think I speak for pretty much anyone on this thread. Stop your anal retentive posts. Go get laid. Something. Anything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Every day that the search continues without finding so much as a clue, the greater the chance there is that the parents are lying. Presuming the search party is using trackers, as search parties have done since humans learned to walk, and the trackers have found absolutely no evidence of the boy at the supposed drop off point, then it's increasingly likely the parents are hiding the truth. What makes me very sad is that in between these abuvise, possibly murderous parents and the missing child, is a little girl, the boys sister, who must heartbreakingly be suffering in silence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

if it was a bear, it is one clever bear because there are no markings or evidence of a mauling not even a shred of cloth. where are all these people who got rocks thrown at them? The police have yet to identify any people passing by. parents too calm for a lost 7 yr old.
3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why would you love someone who exposed your love of sex trafficking victims right here in Japan?

Hehehehehehe!

Moderator: You can have 24 hours off from posting.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Polar, black and brown bears are all known to have killed people.

At this point, the likely scenario where the boy is still alive is that he was picked up by someone. As for why that person hasn't come forward, perhaps a bad guy with evil intention, or someone living off the grid, maybe something else.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you want to punish a 7 year old, take away all electronic devices for the day. I guarantee that their behavior will change real quick.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Police said they are considering whether the parents should be charged with child abandonment.

I would like to know how this isn't the very definition.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alien abduction‥…… case closed.

That or this poor little guy met they wrath or some other accident induced by his parents‥…… probably time to inquire with others for his last verifiable presents.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bears, other than grizzlies, are generally herbivores. They will attack if provoked, but do not hunt, nor do they typically kill and/or devour humans.

According to wikipedia, the diet of the brown bears in Hokkaido include small to medium size mammals. I don't think it matters much. I'm leaning towards Disillusioned. This looks like a clever ruse to lead the J-cops in the wrong direction. I read in another article, that the search dogs were not able to pick up a trail in that area. I don't think the kid was even there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the parents did kill him, why make up a story about him behaving badly? They could have just said that they went for a walk together, the boy somehow got separated from them and then they couldn't find him. Something fishy about it all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In my opinion the little boy is not lost or dead in the forestry, but dead, hurt or abducted somewhere by someone out of forestry. I am looking for news about him many times per day although I am on the other side of the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The family's home needs to be searched. That is the likely crime scene, not the remote mountain area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please let him be safe

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with Clueless. A kid left by the side of the road would walk along the road in the direction of the car not head into the woods. The father seemed really unnatural when interviewed in his car. I could hardly believe he was really the father. He seemed too calm, as if it was not a big deal. If he was lying, it would have been better to stick to one story not admit you were lying and then come up with another one. Or perhaps that's what he wants the cops to think. If the kid is out there, I hope he walks in a straight line, he'll hit the coast eventually.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did the parents really leave their son there??-- Guess something might wrong or suspicious in their statement.

How come there is no trace of the missing boy after 5 days??

Interrogate them strongly - Truth will come out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@serendipitous The parents first claimed they got separated from the boy on a hike. They later changed their story to abandoning him on the side of the road.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is fishy. I'm skeptical of the parents' story and I'm about 50% sure they killed the boy and came up with a cockamamy alibi to absolve themselves of the blame. Consider this, If they drove off why would the boy wonder off into the surrounding area if they didn't leave the area for very long? If I was his age, I'd be bawling my eyes out, chasing after the car. Things just aren't adding up. It could be my natural skepticism or perhaps I've been watching Detective Conan for too long. We'll see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the story is fishy too. He was throwing rocks earlier in the day? How much earlier, why wait until you were on the way home to drop him off in the woods...7 is still pretty little. I think he may be dead in another location way, away from where they are having the police look for him....No body no crime right? Except for abandonment or something, far less problematic that killing your own son.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really pray by some miracle he's ok. Did they not use tracker dogs instantly ? Surely within a few hours they would have located him on day 1? I just have this bad feeling he was drowned in a creek by his parents and this lost thing is a rouse. Must be hard on the parents if they didn't do it but can't believe they returned after 5 mins, surely the sister holds the clues?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is a long tradition of leaving children somewhere isolated as a means of discipline in Japan, such as in a dark warehouse (kura, see link below) or more commonly outside the front door of the family home. Morling (2002 I think) compares this to the Western practice of "grounding" children by confining them to to the family home, and argues that happiness for the Japanese child is harmonizing with others (I don't think she makes the pun but "happy" in Japanese may mean "doing what suits," shi-awase), whereas happy in the West may be felt to arise from "doing what you want".

That said, leaving ones child alone in bear territory is no kind of tradition nor sensible, and I am sorry, I fail to believe the father anyway. < https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=gOoVAAAAYAAJ&dq=kura%20children%20japan&pg=PA128#v=onepage&q=kura%20children%20japan&f=false>

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I believe the boy was abducted by a passing car. The boy would not of travelled into woods but stayed close to the road. If the boy was throwing stones at a car maybe that person was very annoyed and drove back, finding a wondering child. The child would have got into anybodys car as he would have been distraught. Why arnt police checking on the cars passing through that area? Especially getting details about the cars the kid was throwing things at. Maybe the parents are not telling the whole truth. But a 7 year old kid would have the sense to stay on the road that his parents car was on. He would not venture off it. I believe some one has picked him up

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Speak to the daughter. She knows !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Josephenic - your comment is built on the assumption that the parents are telling the truth. I would have thought that some witnesses souks have come forward by now perhaps saying that they saw the boy throwing stones. As far as I know, none have.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The daughter knows what happened . Interview her away from the dad !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You're the disgusting side of the internet.

No, they're just people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Very thankful that they found the little lad alive.

I was coming to be convinced that the parents had done away with him. I'm not about to beat myself up about it, though. They're the disgusting side of human nature.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Time for an update...they found him alive

2 ( +2 / -0 )

HE'S ALIVE!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank God they found him!!! relatively healthy だって

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They found him alive this morning in a JGSDF training facility

1 ( +1 / -0 )

they found him!!!!!!! alive

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just in: They found him!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope to Christ he's in good enough shape to make a full recovery. And to be honest, if he does, and as long as their story checks out, I hope that he's returned to his parents, who in supposedly attempting to teach their child a lesson, have now learned one in incredibly public and humiliating circumstances. They'll have to put up with a lot of shit for a long time, and they endangered his life, but I don't think they should lose their child over this, or that he should be permanently removed from his parents.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He's been found alive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Turns out I was right about this one:

Scenario 5 - The boy wandered off in the woods and is cold and hungry somewhere

But only by coincidence. Which proves my point that speculation is pointless.

Glad the kid is alive and safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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