Imagine going on a romantic date with a beautiful girl while you're orbiting the earth and going around the moon. That's what Japanese e-commerce billionaire Yusaku Maezawa was thinking of when he announced that he was looking for a "girlfriend" to take along with him into space. He was planning to find the lucky girl through a reality TV show called "Full Moon Lovers".
A romantic date in space
Maezawa was planning of flying into space along with his girlfriend in a private Space X flight, and had apparently made a significant down payment for one of Elon Musk's ambitious space flights around the Moon.
However, it now seems that the founder of Japanese fashion e-commerce site Zozotown has backtracked from his "outer-worldly" date plans. He has reportedly cited having "mixed feelings" about participating in the reality TV show to find his girlfriend and having that "date in space".
Full Moon lovers
Earlier this month, the 44-year-old had announced that he was seeking single females who were willing to become his girlfriend for a documentary show called "Full Moon Lovers" that would be aired on Japanese streaming service AbemaTV.
Apparently, about 28,000 Japanese women had applied for participating in the show. Now, Maezawa has requested the show's cancellation citing personal reasons. He said that he was "extremely remorseful" about his decision to pull out.
Apologizes on Twitter for backtracking
He soon took to Twitter to apologize to applicants and AbemaTV staff who were involved in the production of the yet-unaired show. Maezawa is one of Japan's most followed Twitterati with more than seven million followers. He said in a series of tweets that he had disappointed many people and that he was sorry for his decision.
He tweeted: "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 â the applicants and all the staff from AbemaTV who were involved in the production â and I apologize to everyone for my unfavorable actions. I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart."
Maezawa's other failed ideas
Maezawa who sold his online fashion store Zozotown to SoftBank Group Corp last year, is known for his flamboyant lifestyle and showy plans which he launches with much hype and fanfare. This isn't the first time Maezawa has stepped back from such ostentatious plans.
Back in 2017, when he was the CEO of Zozotown, Maezawa had shipped millions of free skin-tight, polka-dot bodysuits called "Zozosuits" that were supposed to help collect customer body measurements to help them order custom-made clothes that were a perfect fit for them. The idea didn't go according to plan. A year later, Maezawa admitted that the scheme was no longer available and that it was an expensive failure.
He had also outlined ambitious overseas expansion plans which did not quite work out and the company was forced to close its US and European operations owing to wildly undershot targets and crashes in the company's stock price.
His upcoming social experiment
Maezawa then stepped down as president in September last year and sold the company to the Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank. Maezawa has also reportedly pledged to give away $9 million to his Twitter followers as part of his "social experiment" to see if that would help boost their happiness.