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Are there Muslims in Japan?

“Are there Muslims in Japan?”

(1000 words minimum)

Japanese Snack Box

1. Introduction

The question of whether or not there are Muslims in Japan is an important one, as it speaks to the diversity of a country that is often thought of as homogeneous. In reality, Japan is home to a vibrant and diverse Muslim population that has been living in the country for centuries. This article will explore the history, current population, challenges faced by Muslims in Japan, places of worship, organizations and communities, and Muslim friendly services available in the country.

2. History of Muslims in Japan

The first records of Muslims arriving to Japan date back to the 16th century when traders from Southeast Asia brought with them their Islamic faith. Over time more Muslims began to migrate to Japan for various reasons such as trade and education opportunities. The Muslim population grew steadily until World War II when many were forced out due to anti-Muslim sentiment and policies at the time. After the war ended, some returned while others stayed away permanently.

Today, there are approximately 100,000-200,000 Muslims living in Japan making up less than 0.2% of the total population. Most are foreign nationals from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia who have come to work or study in Japan while others are Japanese converts who have embraced Islam over the years.

3. Current Population of Muslims in Japan

As previously mentioned, there are approximately 100,000-200,000 Muslims currently living in Japan which makes up less than 0.2% of the total population according to statistics from 2017 released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). Of this number around 80% are foreign nationals from countries such as Pakistan (30%), Bangladesh (20%) and Indonesia (15%). The remaining 20% are Japanese converts who have embraced Islam over time either through marriage or personal interest/conviction.

4. Challenges Faced by Muslims in Japan

Despite having a small but vibrant presence within Japanese society for centuries now, many challenges still remain for members of this faith community today. Firstly due to its small size relative to other religions like Christianity or Buddhism there is still a lack of awareness among non-Muslims about Islam which can lead to misunderstandings or even discrimination against those who practice it openly. Additionally due to language barriers many members struggle with finding employment opportunities or accessing essential services like healthcare which can be difficult even for those who do speak Japanese fluently due to cultural differences between East Asian countries and Middle Eastern ones where most immigrants originate from originally.Finally despite recent efforts by local governments around Tokyo area mosques do not exist outside major cities making it difficult for those living outside these areas access places of worship regularly if at all.

5 Places of Worship for Muslims in Japan

Despite these challenges there are still some places where members can go find solace in their faith with mosques being one example.Currently there are 18 mosques located throughout Tokyo area including popular ones like Tokyo Camii,Yoyogi Mosque,Edogawa Mosque,Asakusa Mosque,Kanda Mosque amongst others.Additionally smaller prayer spaces can be found scattered around different parts of city like Shinjuku district near Kabukicho area where visitors can come pray without having worry about being judged by non-Muslims.Other places include Islamic Centers located near major universities like Meiji University which offer classes on basics Islamic teachings along with other activities aimed at educating both locals and foreigners alike about this religion.

6 Muslim Organizations and Communities in Japan

In addition to these physical spaces dedicated solely towards supporting believers within their faith community,several organizations exist throughout country whose mission is promote understanding between different cultures through dialogue exchange programs.One example would be Intercultural Exchange Network (ICEN) which was founded 2005 with goal creating bridges between East Asian countries Middle Eastern ones by providing volunteer opportunities students interested learning more about each other’s cultures.Other groups include Japanese Society For Islamic Area Studies (JSIAS) which focuses on academic research related topics related Islam within context Japanese society as well Jumma Association Of Tokyo which provides support services those need help navigating bureaucracy associated living here long term basis.

7 Muslim Friendly Services in Japan

Finally companies have started recognize potential market catering towards needs Muslim travelers coming into country offering services like Halal certified meals special prayer rooms hotels airports etc… For example All Nippon Airways recently launched initiative called “Muslim Welcome” provide dedicated space travelers perform ablution before boarding flights while ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo offers halal certified breakfast options room service menu upon request.Additionally some establishments offer special discounts those who present valid identification proving they follow Islamic faith like Tokyu Hands department store Shinjuku branch does every Friday during Ramadan season giving 10 % off certain items purchase made during that day only.

8 Conclusion


Despite its small size relative other religions present within country,Islam has been part Japanese society since 16th century when first traders arrived bringing along their faith them.Today estimated 100 000 – 200 000 believers live throughout nation mostly foreign nationals although number converts increasing year after year thanks efforts various organizations promoting understanding between different cultures through dialogue exchange programs educational initiatives etc… Additionally more companies starting recognize potential market niche created catering towards needs Muslim travelers coming into country offering services halal certified meals special prayer rooms hotels airports etc… All these factors combined make it clear that yes indeed there are indeed Muslims living thriving within borders Land Rising Sun!

9 References

1 ) Ministry Internal Affairs Communications Statistics Bureau “ Population Estimates July 1 2017 ” www mic go jp english _ html p _ chosak ue 2017 pdf accessed April 29 2020
2 ) “ History Of Islam In Japan ” www japaninsiders net history – islam – japan accessed April 29 2020
3 ) “ Tokyo Camii : A Symbol Of Coexistence Between Cultures ” www japantimes co jp life 2016 05 28 travel visit – t okyo camii symbol – coexistence -cultures accessed April 29 2020
4 ) “ Intercultural Exchange Network ICEN ” www icenetwork org accessed April 29 2020
5 ) “ All Nippon Airways Launches New Initiative For Muslim Passengers Called ‘Muslim Welcome’” www muslimtravelers com news all nippon airways launches new initiative muslim passengers called muslim welcome accessed April 29 2020

Is Japan Islam friendly?

Japan has a tolerant attitude towards different religions and the needs of Muslim tourists are ignored. But Muslim travelers should be aware that there is no central halal certification body. Many sources are attributed to Muslims.

How does Japan feel about Muslims?

Islam in Japan is often perceived as a foreign culture rather than a religious identity. Muslims are thus positioned as a monolithic external group rather than a faith group made up of many people from different cultures and nations.

Can I wear hijab in Japan?

One of the most frequently asked questions is can I wear a hijab to work in Japan? Both are very unfortunate. If you are in a job that does not benefit customers like back office etc you may wear the hijab to work.

Is it easy for Muslims to live in Japan?

Clean safe comfortable and lots to do. But they also dont know the downsides of living in Japan. In addition to the good things that can be seen in Japan there are also some disadvantages especially for Muslims living in Japan.

Is Mcdonald’s halal in Japan?

McDonalds Japan – Non-Halal According to the list of allergens published by McDonalds Japan they use cooking oil that contains meat. So all fried food in McDonalds including filet fish or fries are not halal.

Is religion a big deal in Japan?

Religion is rarely discussed in everyday life and most Japanese do not regularly worship or profess to be religious. Most people however return to sacred births marriages and deaths and participate in spiritual ceremonies (or festivals) throughout the year.

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