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Ukrainian-born Miss Japan relinquishes title over Affair


February 7, 2024

The Ukrainian-born beauty queen, Karolina Shiino, who sparked a debate on cultural identity by being named Miss Japan has relinquished her title just two weeks after being crowned.

Shiino, the first person of predominantly European heritage ever to win the Miss Nippon contest (which takes its title from the country’s Japanese name), announced her decision to step down following local newspaper allegations of an affair with a married man.

In a statement posted to Instagram, the 26-year-old model apologized to the man’s family and those involved, while also announcing that she was parting ways with her talent agency.

Organizers of the event meanwhile released a statement saying that Shiino had “requested to withdraw from the contest due to personal reasons”, while Kaoru Wada, chair of the Miss Nippon Association, added that the 2024 title will remain “vacant.”