Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the UN's special envoy on child protection has called on Japan to ban outright comic book depictions of child sexual acts.
Last year, the country banned personal possession of such actual images, but Buquicchio says there are many loopoles which can be exploited, including manga, anime and video games.
She states that "I accept that the freedom of expression argument should prevail when it comes to adult pornography" but sees the need to find the right balance between such freedoms and the protection of children, and that "there is a trend which seems to be socially accepted and tolerated."
Manga translator Dan Kanemitsu states that de Boer-Buquicchio has been "mixing reality with fiction" and noted the difference between images of actual children, and cartoon depictions of children, or child-like characters, stating "many male and female artists in Japan draw characters in an art style that looks childish to western eyes. Therefore it is a rejection of an art style popular in Japan" and pushed for Japan to preserve its reputation for protecting free speech.