A woman born to Ukrainian parents has sparked controversy after being crowned Miss Japan.
Carolina Shiino, 26, from Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, became the first naturalised Japanese citizen to win the pageant in Tokyo on Monday.
Miss Shiino moved to the country when she was just five years old after her mother married a Japanese man, Tokyo Weekender reports.
"I've had to face barriers that often prevent me from being accepted as Japanese, so I am filled with gratitude to be recognized at this competition as a Japanese person," she said in her acceptance speech at the Miss Japan Grand Prix pageant.
Miss Shiino described herself as Japanese in both "speech and mind" and wanted to create a society where "people are not judged by their appearance".
However, people online still questioned her taking the crown, with some asking how a person with no Japanese ancestry can be Miss Japan.