Man switched at birth speaks out 60 years later

Man switched at birth speaks out 60 years later

JAPAN - A 60-year-old man who recently won a compensation suit after being mistakenly switched with another baby at the hospital where he was born 60 years ago revealed his mixed feelings at a press conference.

"The mother who raised me did all she could for me," said the man, repeating words of gratitude for his non-biological mother at a press conference held in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, on Wednesday. "I'm grateful the court ruled in my favour...I wish I could go back to 60 years ago."

The ruling handed down by the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday recognised that two newborn babies were switched at a hospital in Sumida Ward in 1953. The court ordered the hospital to pay ¥38 million in total to the man and his three biological younger brothers. The mix-up between him and another man was confirmed in January last year through DNA testing.

"Impossible. That would never happen." The man was shocked at the thought. However, he accepted the test results, finally understanding the reason why people around him said he didn't resemble his brothers.

Due to the mix-up, the man was raised as the fourth son of a family to which he has no biological connection. When he was 2 years old, the father of the family died. Relying on livelihood protection benefits, the mother raised three children in a six-mat, one-room apartment.

After the man graduated from middle school, he started working at a small factory. Today he is a truck driver living in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the other man involved in the switch was raised in affluent circumstances. Having heard that the other man was a university graduate, the first man said he wondered "whether I would've had a different life, graduating from university."

Later on, the man received photos of his deceased biological parents from his biological younger brother. He said he cried over and over again, wishing that he could have met his parents while they were still alive.

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