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Missing toddler found after 3 days on western Japan island

YAMAGUCHI, Japan (Kyodo) -- A 2-year-old boy was found uninjured on Wednesday after going missing for three days during a visit to his great-grandfather's home on a small western Japan island, police said.

    Yoshiki Fujimoto of Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, was found sitting with bare feet on a mountain near the home on the prefecture's Suo-Oshima island after he responded to a male volunteer searcher calling his name, according to the police. He was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure, local rescue officials said.

    The two came off the mountain located just northeast of the great-grandfather's home and were found by police officers who were about to begin the day's search shortly before 7 a.m.

    Some 140 police and rescue personnel had been mobilized to search for the boy, and the volunteer who found Yoshiki was a man in his 70s from Oita Prefecture who joined search efforts from Tuesday, the police said.

    Yoshiki arrived at his great-grandfather's home on the island on Sunday morning with his mother and went missing after leaving the home with his grandfather and older brother to go to a beach about 400 meters away.

    Yoshiki tried to return on his own after walking about 100 meters from the home and disappeared, the police. He turned two years old while he was missing as his birthday was on Monday.

    The discovery of the toddler brought relief to the rescuers and local people who heard his mother call out to him through a public loudspeaker the day before.

    "I am glad he was found. I have a child of similar age so I thought it could happen to my family," said a 39-year-old man from Hiroshima who was visiting his parental home near the site.

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