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Police on Saturday rescued a 6-year-old Chinese boy who had been kidnapped two days earlier from a store near his home in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward and held for a 15 million yen ransom, and arrested six people.

Police found the boy, He Risheng, at about 4 a.m. inside a condominium in Yokohama. They arrested one man and three women there on suspicion of kidnapping.

The four suspects are Wang Wengqin, 30, Zheng Zhen, 33, Yu Yunqin, 29, and Guo Yingyang, 26.

Police said the boy was unharmed and sleeping when he was rescued.

They obtained information on the location of the kidnappers from two men they found at 3:10 a.m. inside Yamashita Park in Yokohama, the designated ransom drop.

The two men, Chen Xiaofeng, 24, of Kobe’s Nada Ward, and Chen Caixing, 23, with no fixed address, were also arrested on the spot.

Five of the suspects told police that they are Chinese nationals. Zheng claimed that she is Malaysian.

One of the three arrested women is an acquaintance of the boy’s mother, police sources said Saturday night.

The boy, accompanied by his father, He Huoguang, a 37-year-old employee at a Chinese-noodle shop, appeared before the media in front of the Nishiarai Police Station, Adachi Ward, around noon Saturday.

Asked if he was scared, the boy shook his head. When asked how he felt when he saw his father after being returned to him, the boy said, “I was happy.”

The boy’s mother, Chen Dingying, 39, separately told reporters that she was filled with gratitude for those who worked to rescue her son.

The boy’s parents came to Japan more than 10 years ago on student visas. Their visas have expired and they are currently in Japan illegally, police said. The boy was born in Japan.

The father told reporters that he and his wife, despite their illegal status, alerted police after they got the first phone call from the kidnappers, because they were so worried about their son.

Police began to believe the kidnappers knew the parents well when on the 29th telephone call, one of the kidnappers reportedly said, “You cannot go to the police because you don’t have visas.”

During some of the 45 telephone calls, the kidnappers threatened to cut off the boy’s limbs and head, police said.

Police said they traced all of the 45 telephone calls but the first one to a prepaid mobile phone used in Yokohama.

Using a prepaid mobile phone has been a common ploy in recent kidnapping cases in Japan because it is difficult to trace the person making the call or the owner of the phone.

Police said the kidnappers designated Yamashita Park as the ransom drop in a series of telephone calls late Friday and early Saturday morning.

Police began their secret search for the boy after his mother reported that he had been kidnapped.

According to police, the boy left home alone at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday to play at a nearby supermarket playroom, and he failed to return home. His mother went to look for him shortly after 8:00 p.m. and failed to find him there.

The boy was allegedly told by five people to leave the store with them because his mother was looking for him. When the child tried to break free from their grasp, they told him his father had poured hot water on his mother, police said.

At around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, the boy’s mother received a call on her cell phone from a man speaking in Chinese who said he was holding her son. The man demanded a ransom of 15 million yen.

The woman told police that the man, who spoke with a Fujian accent, told her that the boy would be killed if she reported the abduction to police.

The group ordered the boy’s father to go to Yokohama Station and take his wife’s mobile phone with him at around 11:50 p.m. Friday. When the father arrived at the station with 3.3 million yen for the ransom early Saturday, the group instructed him to go to Yamashita Park.

Immigration authorities are expected to begin procedures to deport the family to China. They may be granted special permission to stay in Japan, however, as the family is believed to have established a foundation here after living here for a decade, according to experts.

According to the National Police Agency, this is the 251st kidnapping case in Japan since World War II, and the 113th involving a child aged 12 or younger.

Of the 251 cases, 244 of them, or about 97.2 percent, were solved.

The number of kidnappings has been rising recently and foreigners in the country have often been targets. In 2001, four victims of 10 kidnappings were foreigners, the NPA said.

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