Ryuichi Sakamoto, the popular Japanese composer who won an Academy Award for his work on Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor," has revealed that he has throat cancer and is canceling appearances so that he can focus on treatment.
The 62-year-old composer is withdrawing from the first Sapporo International Art Festival in Japan where he was to serve as the guest director. The festival, which includes art exhibitions, music performances and other events, is still scheduled to run from July 19 to Sept. 28.
Sakamoto said he also is withdrawing from a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Park Hyatt Toyko.
Sakamoto is a new-music composer who has written a range of pieces including opera, solo instrumental works and electronic music. He won an Oscar for co-writing the score to the 1987 movie "The Last Emperor" and later re-teamed with Bertolucci on "The Sheltering Sky" and "Little Buddha." He has also written music for movies directed by Nagisa Oshima and