The mayor of a small Japanese town has become an internet sensation after it was observed that the characters of his name can be read as "Jo Baiden," phonetically the same as the name of the winner in last week's U.S. presidential election.

Yutaka Umeda, 73, mayor of Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture, was caught by surprise when his family told him that an alternate reading of his name had drawn attention online.

"I feel very close to him. It feels as though I've also won the election after hearing about (Democratic nominee Joe Biden's) projected win" over his rival, President Donald Trump, Umeda said Sunday.