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BANGKOK (Kyodo) A 9-year-old boy living in central Thailand with his aunt and ailing grandfather has been told his Japanese father, whom he has never met, plans to contact him.

The story of Keigo Sato going up to tourists who look Japanese at a temple in Phichit Province where his parents had married and asking if they know his father appeared in major Thai newspapers and on television last week.

“I want to tell him that I miss him, I love him, and want him to come to see me soon,” a tearful Keigo Sato told reporters after learning about his father’s existence. “I don’t want anything from my father . . . I only want to hug him . . . I want to have a father like any other person. I don’t want to be teased because I have no father and no mother.”

The boy, who scratches out a meager living by selling fish food at the riverside temple, 350 km north of Bangkok, after school, would show people the only photo he has of his father, in which he is wearing sunglasses.

Thai authorities sought help from the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok to track the records of the boy and his father, and it has been confirmed that a Katsumi Sato, now 31, married the boy’s mother, Thipmontha, in 2000 and that they divorced in 2004.

Local media have quoted Pattama Chatuphit, the boy’s aunt, as saying the mother died last month. She said her sister told the boy to wait for his father at the temple where they had married.

On Saturday, Pattama told reporters she was told that Katsumi Sato was not ready to meet his son now but would contact the boy later. She said he apparently wants to keep a low profile and avoid attracting media attention to his family life.

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