Byte array in StringLokkup fails to save the model

Hi, I encountered weird error when I pass list of byte sequences into the keras StringLookup layer and then I try to save it. Is there a way how to persist list of bytes?

import tensorflow as tf
a_mapping = [b"aaab", b"bbbc",b"cccd"]
label1_layer = tf.keras.layers.StringLookup(vocabulary=a_mapping)
label2_layer = tf.keras.layers.StringLookup(vocabulary=a_mapping, output_mode="int", invert=True)
input_type = tf.keras.Input(dtype=object, shape=(None,1))
a_model = tf.keras.Model(

raises following error:

TypeError: Unable to serialize b'aaab' to JSON. Unrecognized type <class 'bytes'>.
TypeError                                 Traceback (most recent call last)
Cell In [18], line 11
      9 a_model.compile()
     10 a_model(tf.constant(b"aaab"))
---> 11"a_string_lookup")

File ~/miniconda3/envs/hmic-playground-py39/lib/python3.9/site-packages/keras/utils/, in filter_traceback.<locals>.error_handler(*args, **kwargs)
     65 except Exception as e:  # pylint: disable=broad-except
     66   filtered_tb = _process_traceback_frames(e.__traceback__)
---> 67   raise e.with_traceback(filtered_tb) from None
     68 finally:
     69   del filtered_tb

File ~/miniconda3/envs/hmic-playground-py39/lib/python3.9/json/, in JSONEncoder.encode(self, o)
    195         return encode_basestring(o)
    196 # This doesn't pass the iterator directly to ''.join() because the
    197 # exceptions aren't as detailed.  The list call should be roughly
    198 # equivalent to the PySequence_Fast that ''.join() would do.
--> 199 chunks = self.iterencode(o, _one_shot=True)
    200 if not isinstance(chunks, (list, tuple)):
    201     chunks = list(chunks)

File ~/miniconda3/envs/hmic-playground-py39/lib/python3.9/json/, in JSONEncoder.iterencode(self, o, _one_shot)
    252 else:
    253     _iterencode = _make_iterencode(
    254         markers, self.default, _encoder, self.indent, floatstr,
    255         self.key_separator, self.item_separator, self.sort_keys,
    256         self.skipkeys, _one_shot)
--> 257 return _iterencode(o, 0)

TypeError: Unable to serialize b'aaab' to JSON. Unrecognized type <class 'bytes'>.

is this a bug in tf.keras? Should I report it?