How can I make a tabbed pane transparent ?

I have a tabbed pane placed on a JPanel with an image background. I added a tabbed pane with tabbedPane.setOpaque (false), however I still can't see the image behind the components that were added as tabs in the tabbedpane. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Here's a simplified version of the code:
public class Example extends JPanel {
     public Example() {
          tabs = new JTabbedPane();
          tabs.setOpaque (false);
          JPanel tp1 = new JPanel();
          tabs.addTab ("panel 1", tp1);
          this.add (tabs);
     public void paintComponent(Graphics g) {
          // Paint background image

Perhaps the opaque property is internally overset by the tab pane.
Try this:
   public class Example extends JPanel {
      public Example() {
         JTabbedPane tabs = new JTabbedPane() {
            public boolean isOpaque() {
               return false;
         JPanel tp1 = new JPanel() {
            public boolean isOpaque() {
               return false;
         tabs.addTab("panel 1", tp1);
         this.add (tabs);
      public void paintComponent(Graphics g) {
         // Paint background image
   } Regards.

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