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On May 6, 2010, Yasuyuki Watanabe, an internal affairs ministry bureaucrat, came home to find his wife and 2-year old daughter gone, along with their clothes.

His wife had spirited away their daughter near the end of Golden Week, just days after he was enjoying the holidays taking her on hikes and to local festivals, recalled Watanabe, 40, now deputy mayor of Nasushiobara, Tochigi Prefecture. He recounted how he carried his daughter on his back and how they sang songs together until she fell asleep, snuggling against him.

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