The patient had been carrying the cloth since 1983, when surgeons at the Asahi General Hospital in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo left it in him after an operation to treat an ulcer, a spokesman for the hospital said.
The man, now 49, went in to another hospital in late May after suffering abdominal pain.
When examinations found what was believed to be an eight-centimetre (3.2-inch) tumour, he underwent the operation to remove it. It was only then that surgeons realised it was a towel.
Representatives from the first hospital have apologized and are working on a compensation agreement. Link -via Arbroath