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Japan aims to attract more tourists from Islamic countries

36 Comments

The Japanese government is planning to attract more tourists from Islamic countries, it said in its white paper on tourism for 2013. The white paper identified Islamic countries as high potential areas for inbound tourism.

According to the white paper, around 8.37 million tourists visited Japan, the second highest on record. However, compared to other countries, Japan still remains weak in tourism (30th in the world ranking).

The white paper states that there is a need to strengthen tourism by branding Japan as a more attractive destination.

As target areas, the white paper predicts Islamic countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia will be a big market for future tourism in Japan. Thus, it aims to establish a Muslim-friendly environment by securing places for Muslim tourists to pray when they are in Japan, as well as providing for their dietary needs.

Last year, South Korea provided the most number of tourists with 2.04 million, despite disputes between the two countries. China was second with 1.43 million tourists.

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The Governer of Tokyo recently said:

"The only thing Islamic countries have in common is Allah and that they are fighting with each other, and they have classes."

I'm not sure that such comments will help to establish Japan as "a Muslim-friendly environment."

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"As target areas," is this irony or tongue in cheek?

And i guess they are going to create christian friendly ares and places for them to pray too, and what about the hindus and rastafarians?

Someone needs to wake these dummmies up !

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Ops, better to keep everything as it is and not try to increase tourism based in religious group.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Better to attract Mormons to visit. At least they don't demand the menus be changed or the kitchen be subjected to their religious standards.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

In a country where it is rather hard to find vegetarian menus, I don't think that they are going to have much luck with this. Also targetting religious groups is a ridiculous idea. Why not target all of the people of Indonesia or Malaysia?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Readers, vegan or non-vegan menus have no relevance to this story.

And i guess they are going to create christian friendly ares and places for them to pray too, and what about the hindus and rastafarians?

Europe has lots of interfaith prayer areas used by all religions and people seeking a quiet place for reflection.

At least they don't demand the menus be changed or the kitchen be subjected to their religious standards.

Most Malaysians and Indonesians don't care what happens in the kitchen as long as the chefs keep pork well away from their food. It's not rocket science for restaurateurs, it's common business sense.

Perhaps you'd like to bash inconsiderate vegetarians too, JeanValJean? And don't mention those dastardly vegans!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

A very unenthusiastic yipeeeee.....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Both of Japan's major religions, indigenous Shinto and Mahayanic Buddhism, are considered idolatrous, demonic, and haraam (criminal) by even moderate standards of Islam. Is it permissible for any Muslim to visit and patronize a land where the head of state (Emperor) is a Shinto Kami or to visit any location (ie: home, restaurant, budokan) where a Butsudan or Kamidan is located? Is it permissible for any Muslim government to have diplomatic relations with a country where major political parties are aligned with Nichiren Buddhist movements and whose prominent politicians regularly visit Shinto shrines? Is it permissible for any Muslim company to conduct business with a Japanese company which has Shinto shrines on their premises and/or practices usury? I am most curious to know the answers to these questions. After what happened to the World Heritage Site at Bamiyan, I think it is an important consideration.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A large part of the Asian population viewed as a potential source market by the Japanese inbound travel industry is Muslim. Japan does lack facilities (and I would add understanding) which can meet the needs of Muslim tourists.

While profitable and beneficial to local communities and the national economy, inbound travel is still a relatively new industry here. As the government is trying to facilitate its development this is a good step towards attracting more Asian visitors to the country.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

All you people bashing and hating islam or islamic countries need to be more open and understanding towards islam. The Japanese are trying to do business and open up to tourists from islamic countries, which are nearer to Japan. Therefore please mind your own business, and don't take your personal frustrations out on Islam. Thanks. Keep it up Japan.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan is already a Muslim friendly country with more than 30,000 living here. The first mosque was built in 1929 here in Kobe and I believe there are more than 10,000 Muslims living in the city. Along with the mosque there are also Muslim shops and restaurants. I think there's another mosque in Tokyo and another in Fukuoka?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

As target areas, the white paper predicts Islamic countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia will be a big market for future tourism in Japan.

They've got it all wrong. Indonesians and Malaysians aren't going to bring much money. If you want to target someone from Islamic countries go for the rich oil money playboys from UAE, Qatar etc. The kind of guy who'll take an entire floor of the Tokyo Hilton, buy half the stuff in Yodobashi Camera before dropping the equivalent of a small countries GDP at a hostess bar and hiring several ex-porn star escorts for the night. That'll boost the economy.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@zichi

Japan is already a Muslim friendly country with more than 30,000 living here

A whopping 0.02% of the population, a large proportion of which are students and workers on short-term visas. Hardly Warabia.

Also, the Kobe mosque was completed in 1935. Perhaps you're citing a groundbreaking date.

Interestingly, the Muslim community was supportive of the Japanese war effort during WWII.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

What if the tourism promo were aimed at any other faith-majority nations? Wouldn't that be equally ludicrous? That's my point.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Nessie

A whopping 0.02% of the population, a large proportion of which are students and workers on short-term visas. Hardly Warabia.

The Muslims in Kobe are not students or workers on temporary visa's. Many have lived here for decades. Some are married to Japanese. All seem to be in business.

The foreign residents in total is only about 2.5 million and more than half are Korean/Chinese.

I was just pointing out that in Tokyo, Kobe and Fukuoka, Muslims have communities.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Readers, please stay on topic. The story is about tourism, not Muslim residents.

When in Rome do as the Romans do.....Japan does not need to do anything special to attract more Muslim countries or people of other countries. You don't see much news of muslim countries doing anything special. People should come to Japan because they want to and to be honest most people you talk to want to visit Japan, its just prohibitively expensive for some people. Just do normal marketing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Is money blinding them to the potential troubles of the problematic religious demographic that they are targeting?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

targetting religious groups is a ridiculous idea. Why not target all of the people of Indonesia or Malaysia?

Indonesian population 250M of which 86% Muslim; Malaysian population 30M of which 60% Muslim (CIA)

Is money blinding them to the potential troubles of the problematic religious demographic that they are targeting?

What would those be?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think it will be difficult for some Islamic tourists to find Halal restaurants and food, pork and the preparation of meals is quite different. Saying that i recall many curry restaurants offer Halal.

Good luck!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Then, I need to read more about this breathtaking issue. It seems something is happening.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh, wonderful!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They won't allow bikinis at the miss universe...they'll LOVE the maids in Akihabara!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They can pray in they're hotel rooms. It's not like they're coming to live here. Just place a sign showing which way Mecha is and they're good to go. And it shouldn't be that difficult to find beef or chicken on the menu. Waste of time really.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Really disappointed to see this story. I don't particularly have an issue with islam more than any other particular religion, just why should anyone make any special concessions or efforts based on others personal beliefs, especially if you are using tax dollars to pay for it.

This isn't to exclude anyone, but if you want to go to another country you must adapt to a degree to the local laws, food, and culture.. otherwise why travel at all.

Believe what ever you like, but the state shouldn't promote or target anyone set of personal beliefs, especially those based on "faith".

By all means, pray in your private space, and think what ever you like in your head but anyone's use of public space should have no more or less of the same rights and freedoms allowed to all other people.

I wonder if I will get too see a world we value substantive truth in my lifetime....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

darknuts, yeah, just give them all a compass at immigration. Happily this is just Japanese bureaucracy having meetings and discussions as justification for enormous salaries among bureaucrats and wasting of taxpayers' money. Japan's culture is after all "unique" and there may be a "misunderstanding" before it becomes "impossible to change, as a matter of fact". Japan is not going halal anytime soon.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They can pray in they're hotel rooms.

Can we confine you to you're base, then, if we don't agree with you're lifestyle?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

darknuts, for beef and chicken I am agree that it is very easy to in the menu. However, one of the thing that needed to be considered is how they prepare the meat.

Get Real, for Malaysian muslim they care on how the meat is prepared in a kitchen.

This news might be a good news for muslim though

0 ( +1 / -1 )

INOSE !!! Just the job for you!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

davestrousersJUN. 13, 2013 - 02:54PM JST They've got it all wrong. Indonesians and Malaysians aren't going to bring much money. If you want to target someone from Islamic countries go for the rich oil money playboys from UAE, Qatar etc. The kind of guy who'll take an entire floor of the Tokyo Hilton, buy half the stuff in Yodobashi Camera before dropping the equivalent of a small countries GDP at a hostess bar and hiring several ex-porn star escorts for the night. That'll boost the economy.

Are you stereotyping????!

Which Hollywood movie did you base your facts off?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

But how will Muslims take to the fingerprinting which is so beloved by immigration to "welcome" visitors and residents alike?? And will they be forced take off their burkahs for the photo?? What a joke as usual. Japan doesn't want tourists, just their wallet.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Well. Yes indeed, immigration is a good example of everyone should be treated equally no matter their private beliefs.. And if that means finger prints and clear photos for everyone, then it must be for everyone no exceptions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are you stereotyping????!

Yes.

Which Hollywood movie did you base your facts off?

More from stories I've heard from friends who've worked in Dubai. True, I've never been there myself, but I'd never let something like that stop me from thinking I'm an expert.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

(30th in the world ranking)

I do not think Japan deserves a better ranking. Or prove me the contrary with concrete attractive examples to come to Japan!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is one of the reasons Japan success with tourism is so low compared to other Asian countries. Not sure where the 30th ranking came from but on wiki for Asia, Japan was ranked 10/10, dead last while China was number 1. Based on the UN for tourism, US is number 1 in $ receipts, China 4, Germany 7, UK 8, Hong Kong 9, and Australia 10. Japan came in just above Korea in 20 but just. It is cheaper to go tour China than Japan. Japan hasn't changed their tours in years; Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka. Granted they have add some more but a 2 week tour is still around $4k. A grand tour of Europe in the same 2 weeks is $3K. Then there is the air fare. Now Air fares to Japan is much better than to Australia but not as good. A 2 wk tour of China is around $2.2K and airfare under $1K. Europe is around $3K and $1.2K for airfare. Japan is $4k and airfare of $1.1K. Japan airfare is the lowest but the tours are the highest. If Japan want to increase tourism, Japan need to make it possible to drop tour costs by 25%. I based my airfare from LAX. But airfare isn't the problem its the land tour prices. I've been all over Japan but I don't do tours because it is cheaper more me to arrange my own accommodations. In China, I want a 4 star hotel but in Japan, a business hotel is fine most of the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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