"Beethoven of Japan" apologizes for lies and using ghost writer to help write his songs after tests show that he is not legally deaf.
TOKYO, JAPAN (MARCH 7, 2014) (REUTERS) - A composer once known as the "Beethoven of Japan" said on Friday (March 7) that tests had shown he was not legally deaf and apologized to people throughout the country for lying by using a ghost writer for his popular symphonies and other music.
"I am extremely sorry for this incident," he read in a statement to media.
"It is indeed the case that I have deceived people and for that I am extremely sorry," 50-year-old Samuragochi said with his trademark flowing hair now trimmed in a typical businessman's cut.
Before the news conference, a copy of Samuragochi's latest hearing test was distributed to reporters showing that was while his hearing was impaired, it did not meet the requirements for legal deafness.
Samuragochi collaborated with part-time university professor Takashi Niigaki for 18 years to compose his music after suffering hearing loss.
Samuragochi himself said that he was glad to have the incident out in the open finally.
"This incident has become known and while it's true that I will have to take responsibility and apologize to a large number of people, regardless of that, I think that it's a good thing that this has come out into the open," he said.
He did however, say that he felt responsible for the disappointment to classical music lovers.
"For classical music however and for those who love classical music, having them lose what they thought to be a rising hope, having them respond 'what is this fake Samuragochi?' is something that is very regrettable," Samuragochi said.
When asked about what the brightest and happiest experiences in his life were, Samuragochi responded that he didn't have any that he could remember.
"I don't think that my life held many good memories at all," he said.
He also apologized to television stations and newspapers which had supported his career as well as figure skater Daisuke Takahashi, who used Samuragochi's music in his short program at the Sochi Winter Olympics last month.
"Takahashi as a player has a very strong spirit and while I think he was affected by this incident, I think he was someone who could get over it. I do indeed feel responsible," he said.
The scandal has riveted Japan, with two television stations broadcasting live the first 30 minutes of the two-hour news conference.
Music industry analysts say part of his popularity was the result of promotion by an industry eager to put a human face to classical music and retain a shrinking market share as Japan ages.
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