Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was barred from entering Japan, his party said on Monday.

Japanese immigration officials on Sunday stopped Anwar at Narita International Airport, and told him to take the next flight back to Kuala Lumpur, said Latheefa Koya, human rights and legal bureau chief for the Opposition People’s Alliance.

Anwar said in a blog post that the officials apparently denied him entry for a previous conviction in 1999, and for what they described only as a “latest report.” “I protest in the strongest terms this unwarranted action of the Japanese government in refusing me entry,” Anwar said on his blog.

“It is indeed inconceivable for one of the world’s leading democracies to take this unprecedented action under such tenuous grounds and leaves me with the impression that hidden hands may be at work here,” he added.

“The barring of Anwar Ibrahim from entering Japan raises serious questions on the involvement of this government,” Latheefa said in a statement.

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry and the Japanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said they had no comment on the incident.

Anwar said he was going to Tokyo on a personal invitation to present a paper on Muslim Democrats.

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