Japanese billionaire to make ‘big announcement’ on space after Musk meeting


Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who returned to Earth last month after a 12-day journey into space, attends a news conference after returning to Japan at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, in Tokyo, Japan January 7, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa tweeted on Monday that he plans to make a "big announcement" related to space after a meeting with SpaceX owner Elon Musk.

Yusaku Maezawa, founder of online fashion site Zozo Inc, completed a tourist trip to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Soyuz spacecraft in December last year and plans to journey around the moon with Musk's rocket and satellite company SpaceX in 2023.

The 47-year-old entrepreneur tweeted that he had held an online meeting with Musk and "can now make a big announcement about space on December 9".

The space enthusiast will likely become the first private passenger on a SpaceX moon mission with a week-long fly-by planned for 2023, as commercial firms including Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin usher in a new age of space travel for wealthy clients.

Maezawa made his fortune founding the online fashion retailer Zozo which was bought by Softbank Group Corp's internet business.

Following Maezawa's tweet, shares in Inclusive Inc which provides space-related business utilizing satellite data, soared 11.7% to close at 1,171 yen.

(Reporting by Mariko Katsumura; Editing by Kim Coghill and Stephen Coates)

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