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Japan's 'Beethoven' Mamoru Samuragochi Sorry For Deception

TOKYO -- A supposedly deaf composer once lauded as Japan's Beethoven apologized Friday after confessing that he could partially hear and that he did not write his music himself.

"It is indeed the case that I have deceived people and for that I am extremely sorry," Mamoru Samuragochi told a news conference in the Japanese capital, adding that he intends to live out the rest of his life repenting for his deception.

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The 50-year-old stunned the music world last month when he admitted he did not compose his own music. A day later, Takashi Niigaki, a lecturer at a Tokyo music college, admitted to writing Samuragochi's compositions.

Shorn of his trademark shoulder hair and beard, the 50-year-old added that he was glad the truth had finally come out but said it was regrettable for classical music lovers.

"It's true that I will have to take responsibility and apologize to a large number of people,” Samuragochi said. "Regardless of that, I think that it's a good thing that this has come out into the open."

Image: Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi
Mamoru Samuragochi held a news conference in Tokyo Friday to apologize for misleading his audience. KIMIMASA MAYAMA / EPA

He had feared the truth would come out one day, he said.

"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," he added.

Although Samuragochi said he had returned his disability certificate that once classified him as having a severe hearing loss -- and admitted to regaining some of his hearing three years ago -- he maintained that he still cannot make out conversations and sentences.

Today's questions from the media were translated to Samuragochi via a sign language interpreter.