08:15 GMT25 January 2020
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    One of Japan’s wealthiest people will be the first private passenger to fly around the moon on Elon Musk’s promised reusable spacecraft. Any woman who ticks all the boxes on the list may apply for a cosmic “one-on-one planned matchmaking event”.

    Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is looking for a “special someone” to accompany him on a space trip organised by Elon Musk.

    Musk’s SpaceX in 2018 announced the fashion tycoon as the first paying tourist to ride its yet-to-be-built Big Falcon Rocket, slated to start sending people to the Moon and back in 2023. The vehicle has since been redesigned and renamed as Starship, but the mission remains the same.

    The billionaire, who recently broke up with actress girlfriend Ayame Goriki, 27, wants to shoot a matchmaking documentary about his space voyage, titled Full Moon Lovers.

    “Yusaku Maezawa is looking for a female partner to go to the moon with him,” reads the statement on the website of the video streaming service which is set to air the documentary. “Through serious one-on-one planned matchmaking, Maezawa looks to find his life partner.”

    According to a list of requirements for applicants, the prospective female companion should be single, aged 20 or over, have a “bright personality” and an interest in space travel, as well as the desire to “enjoy life to the fullest” and achieve “world peace”.

    The deadline for applications is 17 January. Selected applicants will go on a date with Maezawa, and he will announce his partner at the end of March.

    “I’m sure I’ve been able to acquire my share of money, social status, and fame along the way,” the 44-year-old billionaire said. “But now I’m restarting my life. I'm 44 now. As feelings of loneliness and emptiness slowly begin to surge upon me, there's one thing that I think about: Continuing to love one woman.

    “When I got the offer to go on this programme, I was first taken over by emotions of embarrassment and pride, and I thought about refusing the offer. The more I thought about it, however, I started to think a chance like this might not come around again.”

    “I started to think that this was a good chance to seriously face up to the idea of ‘continuing to love one woman’ which I’d only really had a hazy image about. I made my decision and finally decided to go on the programme. I want to find a ‘life partner’. With that future partner of mine, I want to shout our love and world peace from outer space.”

    Who is Yusaku Maezawa?

    Maezawa, 44, is the founder of Japan’s largest online fashion retailer, Zozo. He sold his stake in the company to SoftBank subsidiary Yahoo Japan last year as part of a deal that made him the 22th-richest person in Japan and increased his net worth to $2 billion, according to Forbes. He is particularly known as an avid collector of high-end cars and art objects; in 2017 he bought a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat at auction for $110 million.

    He made headlines late last year when he launched generous giveaways to find out whether money can make people happier. In what he called a “social experiment”, he promised to divvy up more than $9 million to 1,000 random people on Twitter (over $9,000 per person). The offer became the most-retweeted post of all time with over 4.1 million retweets.

    Tags:
    starship, Moon, SpaceX, Japan, Elon Musk, Yusaku Maezawa
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