Tokyo Olympics Composer Resigns After Admitting to Bullying, Abusing Disabled Classmates

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 17: Keigo Oyamada poses during a photocall for the Stella McCartney Spring 2015 Presentation and Party at Roppongi Hills on July 17, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

The composer for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics has resigned after old interviews resurfaced in which he admitted to bullying and physically abusing disabled classmates when he was a minor, according to multiple reports.

Keigo Oyamada, who ranks among Japan’s most prominent rock musicians, apologized for his actions in posts on Twitter and Facebook. “I sincerely accept the opinions and advice I have received, express my gratitude, and will keep them in mind for my future actions and thoughts,” he reportedly wrote. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

On Monday, Tokyo Olympics organizers reversed their earlier decision to allow Oyamada to stay on, calling his past behavior  “absolutely unacceptable.” They also said their initial decision allowing the composer to continue on was “wrong.”

“We offer our deepest apologies for the offense and confusion caused to so many during this time,” said the organizers.

In a series of interviews during the 90s, Oyamada admitted to bullying and physically assaulting a mentally disabled classmate starting when he was in grade school. The acts reportedly included tying him up, making him eat his own feces, and forcing him to masturbate in front of others, according to a report from the blog Arma Japan.

Oyamada recounted the acts of bullying in a boastful and unapologetic way in the interviews.

In a longer apology, the musician noted the interviews contain inaccuracies but took responsibility for his actions.

“When I was a student and at the time of the interview, I couldn’t imagine the feelings of the victims. ​I think I was very immature,” he said.

“​As for the content of the article, I could not check the manuscript before the release, and there are many contents that are different from the fact. However, when I was a student, there is no doubt that my classmates were hurt by my words and actions.”

Oyamada, who performs under the stage name Cornelius, is the latest person to resign in disgrace from the summer Games.

Yoshiro Mori resigned as organizing committee president over remarks viewed as sexist, while Hiroshi Sasaki stepped down as creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies after suggesting a Japanese actress should dress as a pig, according to a report from the Associated Press.

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