The voice of the main character in the popular Japanese anime series "Crayon Shin-chan" about fearless and curious 5-year-old boy Shinnosuke Nohara will change from July for the first time since the start of the series in Japan in 1992.

Voice actress Akiko Yajima, who has voiced the character for more than 26 years, is stepping down, citing "difficulty maintaining the voice of Shinnosuke."

"Now I have to concentrate to create the character's voice, making it difficult to act naturally," Yajima said in a statement released by TV Asahi on Friday.

The broadcaster said at the time it was looking for a voice actor for Shinnosuke from July.

The anime is about the adventures of the boy and his family set in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

(Akiko Yajima)
[Supplied photo]