Tokyo, Japan – The recently crowned Miss Japan, Karolina Shiino, has relinquished her title after a tabloid revealed her involvement in an affair with a married man. The 26-year-old Ukraine-born beauty pageant winner had been the subject of public debate due to her non-traditional Japanese heritage.
Ms. Shiino, who became a naturalized citizen of Japan in 2022, had proudly announced her Japanese citizenship on social media. However, two weeks after being crowned Miss Japan, a local magazine published an expose alleging her affair with a married influencer and doctor.
Initially, the pageant organizers defended Ms. Shiino, claiming that she was unaware of the man’s marital status. However, they later confirmed that she had confessed to knowing about his marriage and family. In response, she apologized for misleading the public and subsequently resigned from her title.
In her statement, Ms. Shiino expressed regret for causing trouble and betraying those who supported her. The Miss Japan Association has accepted her resignation, leaving the Miss Japan title vacant for the rest of the year, despite having several runner-ups to choose from.
The competition’s decision to crown Ms. Shiino had sparked discussions about traditional Japanese beauty standards, as she is of European descent and was not born in Japan. Her public embrace of Japanese culture and her proficiency in the language had made her a symbol of acceptance and diversity in the pageant.
Despite the controversy, Ms. Shiino’s case highlights the complexities of identity and cultural representation, as well as the ethical and moral expectations placed on public figures such as beauty pageant winners.