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Ukraine-origin Miss Japan renounces title over affair


The Ukrainian-born winner of this year’s Miss Japan beauty pageant and the contest’s organisers say she has renounced her title after a magazine published an article about her affair with a married man. Karolina Shiino was crowned Miss Japan on Jan 22, setting off renewed public debate over what it means to be Japanese in a country where homogeneity and conformity are still valued.
The Weekly Bunshun magazine reported last week that Shiino had been in a relationship with a doctor who is married. Initially, she appeared to confirm the relationship but said she did not know he was married. Later, she said her earlier explanation “was not true” and that she was aware of his married status and that he had a family. She apologised and said she was in a state of shock and fear over the report and panicked. The office of the Miss Japan organisers on Tuesday said Shiino’s renunciation of the title was accepted and the slot for the 2024 winner would remain empty.
The scandal reignited a wave of criticism of Shiino on social media but also raised questions about why she was mostly blamed for the affair. The man, Takuma Maeda, an influencer known as “muscle doctor”, acknowledged on Instagram that he had no intention of divorcing his wife and apologized for causing trouble to Shiino and others. He pledged to sincerely devote himself to his work and private life.
In Japan’s male-dominated culture, women are expected to be good mothers and wives, and are publicly chastised more than men in case of extramarital affairs.

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