A Japanese wrestler-turned-politician has been banned from council meetings for refusing to remove his trademark mask when attending meetings.
Councilman Skull Reaper A-Ji was elected in the southwestern prefecture of Oita last month on a platform of educational reform, reports the Japan Daily Press.
The 44-year-old was told by the rest of the council he could not wear the mask, declaring it inappropriate to conceal his identity.
After refusing to take off the Mexican "lucha libre” style mask, he was prevented from entering a meeting on Monday.
Speaking to local Japanese press Skull Reaper A-Ji described the ruling as "frustrating".
He added: "If I take my mask off, I’m an entirely different person. I will not take it off.”
In an interview with, Nishinippon Shimbun, he claimed the mask made it easier for his constituents to approach him.
Remarkably, Skull Reaper A-Ji is not the first masked Japanese politician.
Masanori Murakawa, otherwise known as "The Great Sasuke", was elected councillor back in 2003.
Wearing a similar mask to Skull Reaper A-Ji, Murakawa faced much the same criticism.
He said: "I have absolutely no intention of taking it off, no matter how much opposition there is."