Ryuichi Sakamoto, the influential electronic music composer and member of the Yellow Magic Orchestra who won an Oscar for the score for “The Last Emperor” and composed the haunting score for “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” died Tuesday of cancer at 71. A statement from his management company said, “He lived with music until the very end. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to his fans and all those who have supported his activities, as well as the medical professionals in Japan and the U.S. who did everything in their power to cure him.” Sakamoto also acted; he co-starred with David Bowie in 1983’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” the story of a British colonel who tries to make peace between a Japanese camp commander, played by Sakamoto, and a British P.O.W., played by Bowie. The theme song “Forbidden Colours,” sung by David Sylvain, was released as a single and became a hit; it can still be heard playing at Cannes’ Palais des Festivals nearly 40 years after it played in official competition. He also appeared in Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor,” winning an Oscar and Golden Globe for his score with David Byrne and Cong Su. He was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014, and announced in 2021 that he had also been diagnosed with colon cancer. Other films he scored included Brian de Palma’s “Femme Fatale” and “Snake Eyes,” Pedro Almodovar’s “High Heels,” Bertolucci’s “The Little Buddha” and “The Sheltering Sky” and Oliver Stone’s mini-series “Wild Palms.” He contributed several pieces to Gustavo Santaolalla’s soundtrack of “Babel,” which won the Oscar.