Sakamoto To Undergo Cancer Treatment

Oscar-winning composer and keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto has announced that he will undergo treatment for throat cancer and has canceled all performance activities planned for the immediate future. 

Photo: KAB America

Sakamoto, 62, who lives in New York City, said on his official website, “I promise to return after a full recovery.”

Among the canceled events was an appearance at the First Sapporo International Arts Festival slated for the end of July and a special concert in Tokyo commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Park Hyatt Hotel, where he was supposed to debut new material. A spokesman for Avex, which manages Sakamoto, said he felt some discomfort in his throat in early June and consulted a doctor.

The test results confirming cancer came back at the end of June. Sakamoto is a founding member of the influential electronic pop group Yellow Magic Orchestra, though he is best known in the West for having won an Oscar, along with David Byrne, for the music he wrote for “The Last Emperor.”

In recent years he has been at the forefront in the campaign to ban nuclear energy in Japan following the meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in 2011.