Japan's 'Beethoven' says partly faked hearing loss

TOKYO (AP) — A man once lauded as Japan's Beethoven has acknowledged he partially faked his hearing impairment, as his best-known "Hiroshima" symphony surges in sales despite the revelation it was composed by a ghostwriter.

Mamoru Samuragochi apologized Wednesday and said he partly regained his hearing several years ago. The scandal erupted last week when a ghost composer came forward and revealed he wrote music credited to Samuragochi for 18 years.

Takashi Niigaki said he couldn't keep the secret knowing Olympic figure skater Daisuke Takahashi was set to use the Samuragochi arrangement "Sonatina for Violin" for his short program at the Sochi Games.

Samuragochi's "Hiroshima" was No. 1 in classical CD sales in the latest Oricon weekly ranking, and surged to No. 27 overall in Japan.

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