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Japan lacking burial grounds for expanding Muslim population

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Sorry, this is Japan. If you want special treatment then make a will and prepare the cash to send your body back to wherever you want to be buried. Not Japan’s problem.

Not only Muslims but anyone with requests after their death. Lets face it, death is the one thing we can all be certain of in life...prepare for it!

43 ( +71 / -28 )

When in Rome do as Romans do....

34 ( +54 / -20 )

If you want a burial in the proper Islamic tradition, it’s probably better to go home to die. The same applies for me. If I really cared for the whole Christian ceremony, which I don’t, I would probably have to go back to my hometown to snuff it.

38 ( +56 / -18 )

Bring the workforce, not the problems...

15 ( +33 / -18 )

For all those who say they should just "go home to die", you do realize there are actual Japanese people who convert to Islam, right? Too bad this article fails to mention them.

-26 ( +33 / -59 )

I’m not a huge fan of devoting scarce land to the dead for all eternity, rather than allowing the living to use it.

49 ( +55 / -6 )

why is it that Muslims expect the rest of the world to change for them, and get angry if it doesn’t

38 ( +61 / -23 )

A puzzling story, because as far as I am aware Cremation has been mandatory in nearly all of Japan for quite some time. Unless there are some special waivers I haven't heard about.

27 ( +32 / -5 )

If I really cared for the whole Christian ceremony, which I don’t, I would probably have to go back to my hometown to snuff it.

Actually no you wouldn't as there are plenty of places that hold "Christian" ceremonies here.

Not to mention that there is no "requirement" in Christianity to bury the body, cremation is totally ok too!

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Unless there are some special waivers I haven't heard about.

Obviously yes!

Read the article, this is controlled locally in Japan, not by the national government, so unless you "know" the laws for every municipality in the country, as the article stated, over 99% were cremated, but there are exceptions.

There is still a plot open in the "gaijin-bochi" here in Okinawa! (Foreigners Cemetery)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_cemeteries_in_Japan

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I'm not muslim, but I would prefer that my body be buried, not cremated. I don't want the energy content of my body to just be radiated out into space of no use to anybody. Put me in the ground. Let the worms, microbes come in and out of my body and the energy content of my body that I have assembled over my lifetime consuming the flora and fauna of this earth, my body then returns to them and thus is the cycle of life.

-8 ( +18 / -26 )

Nothing in the Koran about expats?

12 ( +18 / -6 )

There is almost no available land in Japan for burials, and that available land is worth a fortune. Furthermore, the upkeep on graves is very expensive in Japan. It is better and cheaper if Muslims (and Christians who dont want cremation) return home for burial.

19 ( +30 / -11 )

why is it that Muslims expect the rest of the world to change for them, and get angry if it doesn’t

Religious supremacism.

16 ( +30 / -14 )

They abide by how it is or they live in their own land same as we all must do, simple !

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Vince BlackToday 07:41 am JST

why is it that Muslims expect the rest of the world to change for them, and get angry if it doesn’t

The only person getting angry is you, Vince.

divindaToday 07:16 am JST

For all those who say they should just "go home to die", you do realize there are actual Japanese people who convert to Islam, right?

In their haste to spurt their islamophobia all over the internet, they didn't stop to consider that possibility. They'd probably be stunned to discover that there are white people who are Muslims, too.

-16 ( +20 / -36 )

Most of the comments lack comprehension skills, I guess. Article is all about "Japan lacking burial grounds for expanding Muslim population".

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

The only person getting angry is you, Vince.

I hardly doubt that Vince was angry, you assumed it, that's all. He asked a valid question.

7 ( +21 / -14 )

It baffles me Muslims of any nation would pick up Japan to live when looking for better conditions.

Lived a while in Malaysia, which is a mix of China, Arabia and India, and where you find AEON Shopping Malls, Daiso, and other big J-entertainment venues, many christian places especially in the beautiful city of Malacca. Very mixed country where everyone has its own space, holidays and way of living. Every muslim wishing to come to Japan should have a look at Malaysia first, such a beautiful country where you won't have any issues with burial, food, customs etc...

25 ( +27 / -2 )

Maybe you should ask the Malaysians here in Japan first why they came here

15 ( +18 / -3 )

The article doesn't mention it, but I believe Muslims bury their dead much quicker than other religions, usually within a couple of days. This will probably exacerbate the difficulty in finding a burial plot.

such as being at least 110 meters away from a residential area

Ha ha. If you want to renovate an old farmhouse in the countryside, especially one near woodland, good luck finding one that does not have a grave within 30 meters, never mind 110.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Sorry, this is Japan. If you want special treatment then make a will and prepare the cash to send your body back to wherever you want to be buried. Not Japan’s problem.

Not only Muslims but anyone with requests after their death. Lets face it, death is the one thing we can all be certain of in life...prepare for it!

Well said.

0 ( +18 / -18 )

I'm assuming those who want Muslims to 'go home' for burial wish also the Japanese citizens who are Muslim to 'go home.' Oh, wait. They are home. More so than most commenters.

What I got from this article is:

A) the local population is uncomfortable with and wary of bodies buried near their homes and vocalize it as 'water pollution' and 'hygiene' and

B) the local Muslims need to prove to the local population that the caskets they use can't cause water or hygiene pollution. Hopefully they use caskets and not just cloth shrouds ala the Shroud of Turin

Until the local population understands what a burial is and isn't, and until the Muslim community proves their religious-based cemetery will not cause pollution of any kind, burial will continue to be a problem and expensive.

kohakuebisu,

I lived next to a graveyard once; it was on the other side of a very dilapidated fence. Those graves are for cremated ashes, not whole bodies.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Look those of us that end up living ""somewhere else"" have to learn to be MORE flexible than usual, so I would simply ask Muslims in Japan to be the same, surely there is a work around, bend a few bits of your religion & bingo YOU'RE good!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Mr.Kipling was on point about preparation which most people don’t think about until it’s too late.

Also, as it mentioned in the article, each Local municipality has the power to make change. So any religion that needs or wants to bury the whole body after death needs to do research before moving in. Simple enough. I have had non-Japanese friends who have died in Japan unexpectedly and yes, it cost about 15,000 USD to ship your body out of Japan. The refrigeration of the body was a big cost from what I recall and embalming is rare for Japan so that drives up the price to.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I already have a space in the family tomb in Okinawa. My in-laws pointed it out several years ago and said “thats your spot when you die”.

Nice to be one of the family.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The man, who came to Japan 32 years ago, is married to a Japanese woman with whom he has two children and has no plans of leaving the country.

Apart from the bad grammar (no plans of?), why even mention that someone who is settled here and has been here for 32 years has no plans for leaving the country? After 32 years, can it not yet be assumed that this is his home?

2 ( +13 / -11 )

I don’t know why no one in Japan has considered those green, woodland burials. You are put in a biodegradable coffin and buried in the country or mountains somewhere and let nature take it’s course. Your body goes back into the environment, no pollution and no cemeteries. My cousin had organised a green burial when he got ill, some of us thought it was a bit weird, but on the day it was rather moving.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Maybe you should ask the Malaysians here in Japan first why they came here

definitely not for a “better life” or to get $$$ like many of their southeastern neighbours counterparts.

Every single Malaysian I met here came to appreciate the culture, work style or to improve their skills and go home, 90% of them speaking fluent japanese. Over a decade working for the immigration and only met a single malaysian overstayer. Malaysia was supposed to be the paradise for any muslim from anywhere, yet they decide to go to countries with culture 100% different from theirs, very hard to understand.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Just dump my bones in the water off Sunabe Sea Wall and be done with it.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Just dump my bones in the water off Sunabe Sea Wall and be done with it.

More pollution huh?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

People have the right to their religious opinions and that right should be respected to the point where it doesn’t inconvenience others. When it does, tough. Pay for it yourself.

It’s your opinion. You are responsible for the consequences of it.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Cremation has been the norm for dealing with the deceased in modern-day Japan. One major exception has been emperors and empresses, who have been ceremoniously buried.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yubaru:

Christianity isn't a monolith. Some denominations are against cremation too...for the same reason (resurrection).

3 ( +6 / -3 )

While Japan is home to an estimated 200,000 Muslims, a figure likely to grow as the country accepts more foreign workers,

Fun times ahead.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

The Holy Roman Catholic Church "officially" frowns upon cremation for Catholics, but permits it where no realistic prospect of a full burial is available. As a resident of Japan, I must make arrangements to have my body sent back to my home country for a full and proper burial, in accordance with the Roman rite. But that's on me, not the Japanese authorities. I have been saving up for some time.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The only person getting angry is you, Vince.

Why do you equate a reasonable question with anger?

>

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

@Richard Gallagher

Christianity and Islam are not particularly welcome, in the sense they impose an alien culture that does not fit Japan

Christianity has been in Japan for almost 500 years. If you think Christianity is alien to Japan, then I suppose you must think Buddhism is too?!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Christianity and Islam are not particularly welcome, in the sense they impose an alien culture that does not fit Japan

Both are proselytizing religions, and in a country which allows freedom of religion, the people should decide whether they are suitable.

Up to now, the vast majority of Japanese people don’t accept either of these sets of opinions. Long may it continue.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Up to now, the vast majority of Japanese people don’t accept either of these sets of opinions. Long may it continue.

And some of them do. Long may it continue.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

While Japan is home to an estimated 200,000 Muslims, a figure likely to grow as the country accepts more foreign workers,

Fun times ahead.

yup just take a look at Europe. But dont worry Japan wont make the same mistake.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

I wonder if they would allow a Shinto Shrine in Mecca.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

The Holy Roman Catholic Church "officially" frowns upon cremation for Catholics, but permits it where no realistic prospect of a full burial is available.

BULL, my mother was a devout Catholic her entire life, and would do NOTHING that would cause problems nor be frowned upon by the church, and she had no problems with a realistic burial, as she and my father purchased a mausoleum vault decades prior to their death.

Her "priest" was the archbishop of the diocese she belonged to, and she worked in the church, and volunteered there, her entire life!

Money was no problem, nothing....

She was cremated, because she was a frugal woman, her entire life, and she could not imagine paying literally tens of thousands of dollars for a coffin!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I wonder if they would allow a Shinto Shrine in Mecca.

And I doubt anyone would ask.

Japan is totally inclusive of religions, as Shinto has literally thousands of "gods" and adding a few more in Christianity and Islam is no problem.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

All religions are fake. No one will be willing to pay heed to the demand of someone who believes in Flying Spaghetti Monster.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

What if someone from Hindu religion asks to float the dead body in the Sumida river, like they do back in the Ganges?

4 ( +11 / -7 )

When I'm dead, I'm dead. I don't care what happens after that.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Every single Malaysian I met here came to appreciate the culture, work style or to improve their skills and go home, 90% of them speaking fluent japanese. Over a decade working for the immigration and only met a single malaysian overstayer. Malaysia was supposed to be the paradise for any muslim from anywhere, yet they decide to go to countries with culture 100% different from theirs, very hard to understand.

That's instructive, thank you.

Anyway, best I can come up with is those who stay here for good probably came for the same reasons you mentioned but decided to stay because they found a partner here. Otherwise, they would have come back also to their home countries. So originally they might not have really planned to settle here or elsewhere so other countries weren't really considered

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All religions are fake. No one will be willing to pay heed to the demand of someone who believes in Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Religion isn't fake, People are!

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

I see occasionally Japanese women wearing head scarfs in trains in the metropolitan area. They are married to Asian Muslims. Population of Muslim believers are No. 1 in the world. We have to think about the reasons why the religion attract so many people despite their teachings and life styles are far from the modern life. They are mostly poor but they help each other. The religious organization has other faces - they are like COOP. They can find jobs or begin businesses easier by becoming Muslims. Unlike most of us working at big companies, many of them run their own small businesses.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

What if someone from Hindu religion asks to float the dead body in the Sumida river, like they do back in the Ganges?

Oh, well, thats different. Hindus arent muslims.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Luddite

I don’t know why no one in Japan has considered those green, woodland burials. You are put in a biodegradable coffin and buried in the country or mountains somewhere and let nature take it’s course

Does not matter what the Japanese consider--- the muslim won´t accept at. Japan will have to come to terms with the problems if importing a large islamic population. You make your bed, you sleep in it.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Religion isn't fake, People are!

Religious believers, particularly monotheists, often tell us other religions apart from their own are fake although the more ecumenical ones often use less direct language. Other more direct types call them evil. Sects within religions often tell us other sects are fake or evil. The resulting religious sectarianism has killed and is still killing uncountable numbers.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I’m not going to get into the other problems about the religion but the biggest problem in this instance is that Muslims need to be buried within 24 hours after death.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I wonder if they would allow a Shinto Shrine in Mecca.

And I doubt anyone would ask.

No, not if they value their lives.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

A lot of anti-Muslim sentiments here as if the English speaking community expects and gets no sort of special treatment whatsoever. These people are long term and permanent residents just like so many of us. And we all have things we cannot and will not bend to any current Japanese way. I don't want to be burned up either. Nor do I want my blood replaced with formaldehyde to be stuffed into a crazy expensive over-engineered coffin into a little concrete bunker for a small fortune as is standard in my country.

Also remember, there was a time when Buddhism was an alien religion to this country. Then a time when it was a minority.

Most Muslim haters are just happy to have some decided and common group to hate. Actual reasons? No. If they had the brain power for that, they would move past the hate. Not holding my breath.

It should not be too much trouble for the government to get off its hind and end and set aside some unused land with the proper requirements for these TAXPAYERS CONTRIBUTING to this country. This country is something like 88 percent unused mountain. Surely dead Muslims are not this much concern to anybody. Give it a rest haters.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

Simple.....When in Rome, do as the Romans do'

2 ( +10 / -8 )

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you have trouble with that, then perhaps you should stay at home.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Not Japan's problem, want a muslim style burial go to some muslim country.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

A lot of anti-Muslim sentiments here as if the English speaking community expects and gets no sort of special treatment whatsoever. These people are long term and permanent residents just like so many of us. 

I'll say! Judging from the very first comment and the others that have mostly positive 'likes', this is quite the anti-muslim forum. I would have imagined that the people on this forum were tolerant but it appears as though that isn't the case, which is strange in a lot of ways because people are quick to point on Japanese racism or the government's racism or anti-foreigner sentiment, but when it comes to muslims, no tolerance whatsoever from the majority. Shame on all of you!

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Japan is a democratic country and everyone living over here has his/her right to keep their word and ask for their right. whosoever is saying they should go back to their country for burial you must not forget that its not just workers who are living here, there is population of foreign born Muslim people who are asking for their right. whether its a permanent resident or non resident working , they pay taxes and contribute to your economy. and with those of you who will say then they should go back to their respective countries and work and die over there, surely the attitude you people have towards immigrants its gonna happen soon. they come here just because their countries are still developing and yours is developed, they come here because they need to make a living and as humans they accept that you people have humanity and you will let them earn a living for their family. they are here because Japan needs them because the population of this country is shrinking. why is your prime minister and external affairs minister begging for work force don't you think about it. there was a time when japan was full of workers from China but its declining and workers from Vietnam is increasing because they don't need to work here anymore they can earn well in their homeland. same thing is gonna happen with the people from rest of the countries. This racist and discriminating behavior towards other races or religions and lack of knowledge about the rest of the world is what makes Japan a dull and regressive country. Japan has developed economically and technologically withing a very little span of time. but unfortunately there are many people over here who still lack understanding and acceptance of different people or different culture. its just because of the people who have a great sense of understanding and knowledge which makes this country bearable for foreign workers

If burial of a dead causes pollution and is harmful for the environment. so does the cremation of dead. all those people who are against it must google or consider talking to some environmentalist and get your facts clear. or just use simple common sense to figure this out and check out how Muslims do the burial and how cremation is performed here in Japan. There are countries like Canada, New Zealand Etc where foreign people their culture and traditions are expected that's what makes those countries big. The reason why Dubai has grown so much within a little span of time is because they are tolerant and respectful towards the people from different cultural backgrounds or beliefs.

The problem with Japan is they just want those foreigners who benefit them. when it comes to problem of foreigners or any other races they just have nothing do with it. you work for them add to their economy, pay taxes help them grow their business's they are happy, as soon as you are having a trouble or demand something then you don't belong over here anymore. what about all those kids born between Muslim and Non Muslim parents are you gonna send them out of their home country too. I am a proud Muslim and I proudly say we take care of Religious or racial minorities. Islam teaches us to respect other peoples beliefs and sentiments no matter what race, color or religion they belong to.

we humans consider ourselves so wise and advanced but in reality we are nothing in front of mother nature.

corona is one big example we should learn from. tsunami in 2011 is another example. one big earthquake and bang. Japan wouldn't even exist on world map anymore. its not just with Japan it can happen with any country anyone. whether Muslim, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist. Instead of dividing people on the basis of caste, creed, color and religion. we should unify for peace, harmony and prosperity. instead of searching negative and different things in people we must not forget we are all humans and we belong to one race. No matter how big your empire or how much money you got in the end we all are gonna leave it here. but we can definitely join hands and make each others lives happier and convenient still we are alive. respect and love each others beliefs and thinking for good.

there's a big difference between "Being Human and Human Being" and I prefer Being Human.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Absolutley not Muslim, but just thought I'd sound off and say that I'm planning for a completely natural burial, should I actually die (Here we are, born to be kings, we're the princes of the universe....) No embalming, no coffin, no cremation (which I find repugnant), just a biodegradable shroud and a nice deep whole in the ground, and since I can't do that in Japan, I'll not be dying there.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

One thing I really like about Japan is actually the lack of burials. I have absolutely no intention to hurt the feelings people may hold towards their deceased relatives and friends, however cemeteries are factually a waste of good land and a source of pollution. In Japan cremation was adopted for practical reasons and this must be respected. The land is for the living.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Dave

Simple.....When in Rome, do as the Romans do'

Yeah.... that is a principle most people would agree with. However, in case of islam, it is always: islamic rules must be followed, no matter where or what. First with special exceptions, later with rules that everyone must follow. Look around the world to see where this is heading.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Oh and by the way, I come from a country where burying people is the norm. I am quite against burials despite this fact.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Those graves are for cremated ashes, not whole bodies.

Yes, that's right, even going way back when. So they are not a hygiene problem, just an emotional one. Graves are all over inaka with almost no zoning. At a sports meet my kids go to, you have to walk literally between graves to take up a position by the course to cheer the kids on. There is no gap between the course and the closest grave.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

respect and love each others beliefs and thinking for good.

Respect the right to a belief but that doesn’t mean you should respect, let alone love, another person’s belief. There are many beliefs that shouldn’t be respected. I’ve heard many religious people who think governments should govern based on religious law. This is an idea I do not respect and definitely do not love. It needs to be rejected.

One of the beauties of Japan is that it doesn’t have the often catastrophic clash of religious beliefs we see in other countries. I don’t know why Japanese people get a little sheepish when talking about their pick and mix approach to religions. This is a wonderful thing they should be more proud of. I wish more countries followed that approach.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@jimizo

I totally agree with your view that we shouldn't agree or love every belief other people have. respecting someones belief is not meant to do the same thing or follow the same belief. If you feel its wrong and it should be changed and there is a reason to do so. you should definitely convince that person and try to show him/her the facts and help him/her to find the right way. I believe every single person in this world has right to put his/her demands and live freely without disrespecting and causing harm to anyone. If Muslims are asking for burial sites whats the bi deal about it. why do people need to be racist and show hatred regarding this.

the incense sticks burned everyday in temples cause air pollution. the noise in mosques cause noise pollution, the lighting in churches and burning of candles is lighting on Christmas is waste of energy. there are many points which we wouldn't agree on. what I mean to say is we should be more tolerant and let people live practice their religion or belief. until and unless its causing harm to other people. being biased a racist towards someone will make things complicated and it will only spread hatred.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Koran is God’s voice though the prophet - different from Bible which is just God-inspired message (basically a guide - even Old Testament), and Buddhist mantra, sutras, Talmud, even the Book of Mormon.

So don’t even bother with secular arguments. Divergent interpretation just makes it worse.

Always the option of just using local rules in Japan where laws seem not to exist until they are applied.

Personally I like the old Farsi custom of leaving the bodies around the temple for the vultures, out in the open as in some cultures in Africa.

Then there is the ‘Soylent Green’ option - the unpalatable solution to world hunger problems.

Just don’t disregard the proximity of people in mega cities and other large population centres who have a different view of what to do after death, and hysterical uninformed ad hoc responses that can follow.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

what I mean to say is we should be more tolerant and let people live practice their religion or belief.

Japan is a country which allows people to practice different religious opinions. I’m all in favour of that. Freedom of and from belief and the right to leave a religion is one of the signs of a civilized country.

 If Muslims are asking for burial sites whats the bi deal about it. why do people need to be racist and show hatred regarding this.

Islam is not a race. Muslims come from all across the world. There are Japanese Muslims. Racism is a red herring here.

My main point here is that you are responsible for your own opinions, and if those opinions mean you have to spend money, you have to spend money. Religious opinions should not be treated with particular respect nor given any special privileges. One problem I often find with people who hold religious opinions is they seem to think others should treat them with particular respect.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

While I respect people of all (or no) faiths, this is not a Muslim nation and they should have considered that and found out about Japanese traditions before coming.

Now then with that said, then Muslims need to pony up cash and purchase land for their cemeteries.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Aqib AbbassToday  04:44 pm JST 

If Muslims are asking for burial sites whats the bi deal about it. why do people need to be racist and show hatred regarding this.

Be careful about conflating race with religion. They aren't the same thing.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

You have to look at this way; if Japanese were in another country and some provision was not made to accommodate their beliefs, then all hell would break loose. Invite Muslim folks to work, then you must accommodate their beliefs. There are many moderate Muslim people from Malaysia and Indonesia etc. and its not a big deal to set aside some area for their burial. I could understand prayer towers with speakers making an uproar but a cemetery? I dont want to go out Japanese style either.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you have trouble with that, then perhaps you should stay at home.

While I find religion a slightly absurd concept, I see a very strong anti-Muslim sentiment here. I do believe that we need to respect the beliefs of others. There may may be Japanese Muslims who have converted to the faith or those born here from immigrant parents and those who have come to live here to work or for marriage do not want to base their entire life around the fact that they will one day die.

If Muslims are insistent on being buried and within 24 hours, then the onus should be on them to secure a plot while they are still alive, however. This seems reasonable.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If Muslims are insistent on being buried and within 24 hours, then the onus should be on them to secure a plot while they are still alive, however. This seems reasonable.

Not really. If your going to exploit cheap labor from these surrounding progressive Muslim countries, then its on you to do that.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

and if you dont want to be cremated and want to be buried in Japan?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

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