This, in turn, has reinforced the dominant male view that women and girls are sex objects and issues connected to its consumption are thus downplayed.

And it means that the rights of those who do not want to see women and girls treated as sexual objects are simply ignored or violated.

In 2004, that law was expanded to include material distributed through all forms of media, including the internet.

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This is despite a law passed in 1999 which banned the production, distribution and sale of child pornographic materials.

The sale of pornographic materials is rampant in Japan.

Go into any convenience store and you will find mainstream pornographic magazines sold alongside consumer publications; while a 'for adults only' sign demarcates the violent, hardcore porn magazines.

However, the ban did not extend to manga or anime films - which still raises troubling questions about the state of child protection, as well as the reasons for the country’s lax The sale of pornographic materials is rampant in Japan.

Go into any convenience store and you will find mainstream pornographic magazines sold alongside consumer publications; while a "for adults only" sign demarcates the violent, hardcore porn magazines.

But it isn't only adults whose bodies are on display: Underaged girls are routinely portrayed in suggestive ways - from teen pop groups posing in lingerie or pubescent children engaging in sexual acts in People in Japan have always had easy access to pornographic materials.

This has created a culture where pornography is tolerated and accepted, and its consumption normalised, especially among men, who are the main consumers of porn.

But it isn’t only adults whose bodies are on display: under-aged girls are routinely portrayed in suggestive ways – from teen pop groups posing in lingerie or pubescent children engaging in sexual acts in manga comic books.

In June, Japan banned the possession of child pornography after decades of criticism by local and international children’s rights activists.