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Tokyo Games opening ceremony musician apologizes for past bullying of disabled classmates

An apology issued by musician Keigo Oyamada is seen in this screenshot from his official Twitter account.

TOKYO -- Musician Keigo Oyamada, who recently came under fire online over past confessions in magazine articles that he bullied classmates with disabilities, issued an apology on his Twitter account on July 16, saying, "I feel deep regret and responsibility for not being a good friend and for being on the side causing hurt."

    Oyamada admitted he bullied the classmates and said, "It is true that I spoke without remorse about my heartless remarks and actions against classmates and people with disabilities in neighboring schools when I was a student." He also expressed his wish to apologize to the classmates in person.

    Regarding his stance after the magazine articles were published, Oyamada explained, "I had been feeling guilty for a long time, but I didn't explain the circumstances or apologize in my own words, which was a stupid way to try and save my own neck."

    Regarding the fact he has been named to be in charge of music at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, Oyamada sought understanding and said, "Maybe I should have declined the request, but I witnessed determination and anxiety among the other creators who were working hard to make the opening ceremony into something good, and I thought I'd accept the offer if my music could help even if only a little."

    In response to Oyamada's comment, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games indicated there were no plans to have him resign or to dismiss him, saying, "We would like him to continue making preparation efforts until the end."

    (Japanese original by Takashi Narumi, Digital News Center)

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