The man who ghostwrote works credited to "deaf" composer Mamoru Samuragochi for the past 18 years stepped forward Thursday as his "partner in crime."

Takashi Niigaki, 43, a composer and part-time lecturer at Toho Gakuen School of Music in west Tokyo, also revealed that Samuragochi, who has claimed to have gone completely deaf at age 35, has normal hearing.

He said that Samuragochi, christened by the media as a modern Beethoven, often listened to Niigaki's compositions and then offered comments.