It is a beauty pageant that is meant to promote goodwill and cultural understanding globally.

But Miss International 2013 was rocked by scandal after a former pageant queen claimed that she had been stalked and threatened by a top agency executive.

According to the South China Morning Post, Ikumi Yoshimatsu of Japan, who took home the crown in 2012, was banned from this year's ceremony after she raised her voice about a campaign of harassment.

"Harassment and intimidation from one man has deprived me of the role of Miss International," she told fans on her Facebook page.

"I have had to fight back tears of mortification. I can no longer go out alone as I fear I will be killed by someone. Fortunately, I now have security 24 hours a day - but other women who face the same stalking problem as me have no such security."

The alleged stalking, intimidation, extortion and obstruction of business is said to have started when the 26-year-old refused to sign on with Genichi Taniguchi's film company, Burning Productions, and instead formed her own agency.

She was subsequently stripped of her crown and banned from this year's Miss International coronation night.

Taniguchi denied the accusations and said that he held no grudges against her.

The Miss International pageant is the last of the major beauty pageants to be held this year after Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth International.

Bea Rose Santiago of Philippines was declared the winner of the 53rd Miss International beauty pageant, held at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

"I'm dedicating my pageant for the Haiyan or Yolanda victims. I'm not going there just as Bea Santiago, but as Miss Philippines. If I win or if I make it, that would bring happiness to them and make them proud," Santiago said before the winner was announced.