We all know child abuse is a terrible problem. There is also the problem of trying to report on it without coming across as a show where it would be believable to include the phrase: “Welcome to paedogeddon!”
As part of her BBC Three documentary series, Stacey Dooley looks at child sex abuse in Japan, a country which didn’t outlaw the owning of paedophilia until 2014, while manga cartoons depicting it are still legal. In the programme she looks into whether attitudes towards sexualising children have changed, and interviews people involved in areas of Japanese society where there are still grey areas concerning the legality of paedophilia.
Speaking as someone who works as a manga and anime critic, there are people I know who have already expressed anger at this documentary. Some have said that rather than trying to impose our values on an entirely different culture which should be allowed to have its own views on such things, we should really be taking child abuse cases closer to home. For example, why doesn’t the BBC’s Stacey Dooley look more into the child abuse committed by former BBC employees like Jimmy Savile?
It does feel like British journalists telling the Japanese to change their mind on their own policies would have as much on affect as European journalists telling us not vote for Brexit, or journalists from anywhere in the world telling the USA not to vote for Donald Trump as president.
Stacey Dooley Investigates: Young Sex for Sale in Japan is on BBC Three at 10am.