Japanese billionaire cancels plans to find girlfriend and take her to the moon

'I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart,' says Yusaku Maezawa

Yusaku Maezawa, entrepreneur and CEO of ZOZOTOWN and SpaceX BFR's first private passenger, speaks during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on October 9, 2018
Yusaku Maezawa, entrepreneur and CEO of ZOZOTOWN and SpaceX BFR's first private passenger, speaks during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on October 9, 2018

A Japanese billionaire who hoped to find a girlfriend and take her on a trip to the Moon has cancelled his search.

Yusaku Maezawa had intended to document his search for a companion through a TV show, before whisking the winner off on a private spaceflight around the Moon.

But he said both the search and the show had been cancelled for "personal reasons".

Nearly 28,000 women had already applied to be a part of the search, he said, and he apologised to them for having wasted their time.

Maezawa made his fortune after launching Zozotown, Japan's largest online clothes retailer. He has since used his fortune for a variety of unusual projects, including offering a cash prize to make him the most retweeted person ever in addition to the journey to space.

He had already paid a significant deposit on the trip around the Moon, which will be SpaceX's first entry into space tourism and is expected to happen after 2023. Initially, he had said that he would take six to eight artists on the trip with him, with the hope that they would document the journey.

But earlier this month, the 44-year-old said he was also on the search for a "life partner" who would get a seat onboard the journey. He asked for applications from women who were over 20, single, and had an interest in heading to space.

The journey to choose one woman from those applicants would be captured in a documentary called "Full Moon Lovers" and the winner would get a chance to come on the trip, he said earlier this month.

The cancellation of that plan was announced in a series of tweets, in which Maezawa apologised to those he had "disappointed".

"Due to personal reasons, I have informed AbemaTV yesterday with my decision to no longer participate in the matchmaking documentary, hence requested for the cancellation of the show," he wrote in a series of tweets.

"Despite my genuine and honest determination toward the show, there was a part of me that still had mixed feelings about my participation.

"To think that 27,722 women, with earnest intentions and courage, had used their precious time to apply makes me feel extremely remorseful to conclude and inform everyone with this selfish decision of mine.

"I understand that I have disappointed many people - the applicants and all the staff from AbemaTV who were involved in the production - and I apologize to everyone for my unfavorable actions. I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart."

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