Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese billionaire set to become the first private passenger on a SpaceX Starship, is calling off his television quest to find a female partner to take to the moon. On Wednesday, Maezawa said he could no longer participate and asked AbemaTV to cancel the matchmaking show, known as Full Moon Lovers.
An announcement Thursday from AbemaTV on the show’s website said it had canceled the program “due to Maezawa’s personal circumstances.”
“Despite my genuine and honest determination toward the show, there was a part of me that still had mixed feelings about my participation,” Maezawa tweeted.
In partnership with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the 44-year-old Japanese entrepreneur, who founded clothing site Zozotown, announced in 2018 he would travel to the moon. As part of his mission, he bought several tickets on the company’s next-generation Starship and told reporters he would be asking artists to head to lunar orbit with him.
Earlier this month, Japanese streaming service AbemaTV said it had received more than 27,000 applicants to appear on the show, which it described as a “serious matchmaking documentary.” Maezawa was apparently looking for a woman aged 20 or over who has a “bright personality” and is “interested in going into space,” according to the show’s website. A final decision was expected in March.
Maezawa apologized in tweets Wednesday to the applicants and staff of AbemaTV, saying that he felt “extremely remorseful” and was “truly sorry from the bottom of my heart.”