TOKYO - A 60-year-old Japanese man switched at birth says he would like to "roll back the clock", days after winning a lawsuit against the hospital which mistakenly cast him into a life of poverty.
The man told a packed Tokyo press conference late Wednesday that he was shell-shocked when he learned the truth, saying his life would have been starkly different.
"I've wondered 'how on earth could this happen'? I couldn't believe it. To be honest, I didn't want to accept it," he told Japanese media late Wednesday. The man was not identified.
"I might have had a different life. I want (the hospital) to roll back the clock to the day I was born."
This week, a Tokyo district court ordered the hospital to pay 38 million yen ($374,000) in damages over its 1953 blunder which saw the man switched with another baby boy who was delivered just 13 minutes later.
It is not clear if the hospital, which has not commented on the bizarre case, will appeal.
The man, an unmarried truck driver, would have grown up as the eldest of four brothers in a wealthy family where siblings enjoyed a lavish lifestyle including private tutors.
Instead, he was raised on welfare by his non-biological mother who also supported older siblings after her husband passed away.
The family had few frills in their one-room apartment except for a radio, according to the man who studied at night school while working in a factory.
"It was like she was born to experience hardship," the man said of the woman he knew as his mother.