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Japanese tycoon ends search for moon trip ‘life partner’ after nearly 30k apply

A Japanese billionaire who launched a public search for a ‘life partner’ to join him on a trip into space has abruptly cancelled the hunt despite attracting nearly 30,000 applicants.

Early this month, Yusaku Maezawa said he was looking for a mate willing to join him when he heads on a trip around the Moon in 2023 or later, as the first private passenger on a voyage offered by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

His search for a soulmate was due to be turned into a TV show for a web-streaming service. But on Thursday he dashed the hopes of thousands hopeful women citing “personal reasons.”

“There was a part of me that still had mixed feelings about my participation,” Maezawa said in a series of tweets.

“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 [of] this selfish decision of mine,” he said.

This is not the first time Mr Maezawa, the founder and former CEO of online fashion retailer Zozo, has embarked on an attention-grabbing stunt.

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Earlier this month he gave away Sh900 million ($9 million) to his followers on Twitter to see if it boosts their happiness.

In 2018, Mr Maezawa was named as the first private passenger due to be flown around the moon by SpaceX, the company owned by Elon Musk.

The price Mr Maezawa agreed to pay for his ticket to space has not been disclosed, but according to Mr Musk it was “a lot of money”.

The mission would be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972.

According to Forbes magazine, Maezawa has a net worth of Sh200 billion ($2 billion).