Miss Japan gives up title after finding out she loves married man: 'I betrayed those who supported me'

Miss Japan 2024 has given up the title, the organizers of the competition announced on Monday, following a weekly report that reported on her relationship with a married man.

Miss Japan 2024 gave up the title after a love scandal PHOTO Kyodo News

Karolina Shiino, aged 26, a professional model, was named the winner of the Miss Japan Grand Prix 2024 competition on January 22, becoming the first person of European origin to be awarded the top prize in this competition.

Although her victory had already been considered controversial due to her background, the young woman relinquished the title after the weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun revealed her relationship with a married influencer who is also a doctor, reports the Kyodo news agency.

Born to Ukrainian parents, Shiino grew up in Nagoya, in central Japan, after arriving in this country at the age of 5.

After the controversial winner of Miss Japan 2024 was announced, a whole scandal was created among people. Her victory has now been questioned by ethnics, who do not understand why a person with no Japanese genes could win the grand prize.

The first naturalized Japanese citizen to win the contest

She is the first naturalized Japanese citizen to win the pageant, but her victory reignited a debate about what it means to be Japanese. While some recognized her win as a “sign of the times”, others said that she did not look like what a “Miss Japan” should look like.

Her win comes nearly 10 years after Ariana Miyamoto became the first biracial woman to be crowned Miss Japan in 2015. Back then, with a Japanese mother and an African-American father, Ariana's victory raised questions about whether she mixed person should be eligible to win the competition.

In a statement published on its website on Monday, the Miss Japan Association said it had accepted Shiino's request to relinquish the title and that “reflect seriously on the association's responsibility in causing the series of disturbances”, writes Agerpres. The association also apologized to the parties involved, including sponsors and jurors, stating at the same time that the title remains vacant for the rest of the year.

He went on to have a relationship

The contest organizers initially supported Shiino following the revelations, after she had declared to the modeling agency she works with, Free Wave Co, that she ended the relationship after learning that the man was married.

But in a new statement from the agency, on Monday, it was confirmed that the young woman continued to have a relationship with the man after learning about his marital status. In an apologetic message posted on Instagram, Shiino stated that he was unable to tell the truth due to confusion and fear after the article appeared. “I am truly sorry for the huge problems I have caused and for betraying those who supported me.”she wrote.