Under-fire Olympic composer steps down over past bullying

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A Japanese composer working on the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony has resigned after coming under fire for bullying a classmate during his childhood

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

Reports of his past verbal abuse of a child with disabilities surfaced online recently, sparking a backlash on social media and demands for his resignation.

The Tokyo Games organizers said on Sunday that he would stay on because he had shown remorse about his past actions.

Oyamada, also known as Cornelius, apologized online last week.

Some critics had said he should hold a news conference and apologize in person. Others also questioned why he hadn’t apologized earlier.

Oyamada, whose works have been compared to the American rock musician Beck, talked about the abuse in Japanese magazine interviews he gave in the 1990s.

Oyamada’s is the latest resignation to plague the Games. Yoshiro Mori resigned as organizing committee president over remarks perceived as sexist. Hiroshi Sasaki also stepped down as creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies after suggesting a Japanese actress should dress as a pig.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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