• Reuters

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Japanese fashion billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has pulled out of a documentary on his search for a girlfriend to travel with him on a voyage around the moon aboard Elon Musk’s SpaceX, citing “mixed feelings” about the project.

This month, the 44-year-old announced he was seeking single females over 20 willing to vie to become his girlfriend for a documentary that was to be aired on streaming service AbemaTV. Almost 28,000 people applied.

Maezawa said he was “extremely remorseful” about the decision to pull out, apologizing to the applicants and AbemaTV staff in posts to Twitter — where he is Japan’s most followed account with more than 7 million followers.

Maezawa is the founder and former CEO of online fashion retailer Zozo, which he last year sold to SoftBank Group Corp.

He is known for launching big ideas with much fanfare, although some of them don’t pan out as planned.

As CEO he launched the Zozosuit, a polka-dot bodysuit that allowed users to collect body measurements to order custom-made clothes but which did not work well in practice. He also outlined an ambitious overseas expansion plan that wildly undershot targets, leading to a crash in the company’s stock price.

Maezawa has pledged to give away $9 million to his Twitter followers in what he says is a “social experiment” to see if the payment boosts their happiness.

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