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Disgraced Japanese composer apologizes over deafness scandal

Tokyo - A Japanese composer once touted as the country's answer to Beethoven apologised on Friday for the public misunderstanding over his hearing problem.

"I deeply apologise to many people for having caused them so much trouble," Mamoru Samuragochi said in his first public appearance since the scandal made worldwide headlines.

Samuragochi said he was never diagnosed as having a full hearing disability, and maintained he is partly deaf and needs a sign language interpreter.

"I swear to God, I am telling the truth," said Samuragochi, who bowed repeatedly in apology.

His deafness was questioned in February in comments to the press by Takashi Niigaki, a Tokyo music lecturer, who said he never felt the composer had a hearing problem when they worked together.

The scandal came amid revelations by Niigaki that he penned works for Samuragochi for 18 years, including the composer’s most acclaimed piece, Hiroshima Symphony.

Samuragochi said Friday’s news conference would be his final television appearance.

DPA


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