In light of the news that former X Japan bassist Taiji Sawada had passed away over the weekend, former bandmate Yoshiki has released a statement.

Yoshiki [drums, piano for X Japan]:

"Receiving the news of Taiji's death has left me speechless. I don't know how to cope with the loss yet. Playing at the Nissan Stadium together last year brings memories as it was yesterday. To imagine what the fans are feeling right now breaks my heart. But that is the reason why we have to stay strong. X Japan will have to carry on with not only Hide, but Taiji as well in our hearts. May the amazing bassist Taiji rest in peace."

The Nissan Stadium gig he refers to was played last August in Japan. Taiji joined the band onstage for a couple of songs, but has not been a member of the band since 1992. Hide was the band's lead guitarist up until his tragic death in May of 1998. Sawada played with Yoshiki in X Japan in 1985 and then again from 1986 to 1992. The late bassist played on pivotal X Japan albums like 'Blue Blood' [1989] and 'Jealousy' [1991] before both parties parted ways.

Watch X Japan reunite with Sawada at Nissan Stadium

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