Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto is taking time off from his music career after be was diagnosed with throat cancer.
The world-renowned musician announced on Thursday (10Jul14) that he was given the news he has oropharyngeal cancer last month (Jun14), and has decided to cancel all his upcoming appearances and concerts to focus on his health.
Sakamoto says in a statement, "After much thought and consideration, I have decided to take time off of work in order to concentrate on treating it. I promise to return after a full recovery."
The 62 year old did not reveal the current stage of his cancer, but he has axed planned gigs in Japan later this month (Jul14), and also stepped down as one of the directors of the Sapporo International Art Festival, which is scheduled to begin next week (begs14Jul14).
With a career spanning three decades, Sakamoto has been a pioneer of the electric pop genre, and even won the Best Original Score Oscar in 1987 for Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, and has also earned trophies from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the Grammys and Golden Globes for his compositions.