A U.N. expert in charge of freedom of expression said Thursday that the Japanese government has canceled the visit he was scheduled to make next month.

David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, told Kyodo News he hopes he "can continue to work with the (Japanese) government" and that he has always had good interactions with it.

The rare cancellation of the official visit drew criticism that the Japanese government is trying to hinder him from raising such issues as the secrecy law, which is aimed at preventing the leak of state secrets.