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Muslim visitors to Japan forecast to hit a million by 2020

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What about Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist visitors?

11 ( +16 / -5 )

What about athiests or agnostics? Who probably make up the majority of visitors to Japan.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Muslims and with $$ are IMPORTANT tourists! Just the other day in the GOTEMBA outlet malls, I saw so many tourists from Malaysia?? Not sure, but the ladies with veils etc..and as I was looking for a bathroom, in that same corridor now they have PRAYER ROOMS, yes, just like back in Malaysia! So I think this is good for our Muslim amigos that want to enjoy Japan without feeling guilty about missing their prayers or not having HALAL food. I saw the Halal food mark at a few restaurants there in Gotemba, so Christians can eat anthing, Hindus no beef, Buddhists depends (as for me NO McDonalds Chicken nuggets after seeing those nasty videos from CHINA!!) and as for athiests and agnotics, who cares?? Haha, maybe they will like Chicken Mc Nuggets??

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

I don't think so. The muslims are not exemplary world citizens lately. Any woman wishing to convert, look hard think twice.

6 ( +20 / -14 )

@Elbuda Mexicano

I think you are slightly missing the point. No one denies that many tourists from Muslim countries are wealthy. The key question is probably how many devote Muslims (who require a prayer room while shopping) are coming to Japan to buy 4K TVs, Kimonos, and enjoy hot springs? Although Japan should welcome everyone, I suspect that Japan is not going to gain alot of tourist Yen from them. Also, the prayer room thing is a bit of a cliche isn't it? Only around 60% of Muslims pray 5 times a day, and I suspect that number is much lower among those who travel internationally.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

From Wikipedia:

As of 2010, over 1.6 billion or about 23.4% of the world population are Muslims. Of these, around 62% live in Asia-Pacific, 20% in the Middle East-North Africa, 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa, around 3% in Europe, and 0.3% in the Americas.

That is one quarter of the world's population. A FEW of these are militant. A FEW of them are trouble makers. The vast majority of muslims live peaceful lives. And they are people, like you and I.

Let's not forget this.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

@SerranoAUG. 02, 2014 - 07:49AM JST What about Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist visitors?

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Because this article is about Muslim visitors.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

To those bemoaning the (very few) facilities for Muslim travelers, does this impact your livelihoods in any way?

Just wondering...

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Good news. Hopefully more Muslims will visit Japan in the coming years.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Yes Bertie, FEW are militant and of those you may never know it until....

How many will take multiple wives? I do not support this. How many will beat their wife/wives? I do not support this. How many will stone a convert from Islam? I do not support this.

Seems very oppressive for women and intolerable in other ways. "Think Hard Think Twice".

0 ( +10 / -10 )

I guess their money is as good as anyone else and as they always seem to say,theirs is a religion of peace , of love , and tolorence toward the infidel! Are there any such infidels in Japan? Hmmmmm,,,,,

4 ( +5 / -1 )

With two bullying neighbors, Japan needs as many friends as possible.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Looks like Japan will be full of tourists for Tokyo Olympic. Good news for Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

That is one quarter of the world's population. A FEW of these are militant. A FEW of them are trouble makers. The vast majority of muslims live peaceful lives. And they are people, like you and I.

I agree wholeheartedly, Bertie. I live in an area that attracts hordes of tourists from around the world, all big spenders, but mainly Asian. Guess who the quiet, polite, respectful ones are? Hint: not the Buddhists!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

What about Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist visitors?

What about them? Do they have special dietary restrictions that are not being met?

Regardless of how irrational religions rules tend be, catering to your market is just plain common sense. This is a good business and it promotes positive exchanges with other countries. Zero downside.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Well, this is the beginning of the end.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There has been a mosque at car auctions here for ages and they serving halal food for the middle eastern buyers. There has also been a huge theft situation. Before all the cars were left unlocked with keys inside. Now we have to queue for ages to get the keys to check the cars.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There has been a mosque at car auctions here for ages

Huh? Someone brought a mosque to a car auction? Could you please clarify?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Muslims living in Japan and those visiting do rather well when it comes to facilities. There are more than 60 mosques, and rooms available for private prayers. There are halal restaurants and shops. I wonder in Saudi Arabia how many Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples there are?

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Zichi, if Saudi Arabia doesn't want to make accommodations to welcome international travelers, that's their loss.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I think its because there maybe jobs available in Japan and sushi is no problem for them just like western food.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does this mean the J-cops will whip me in public if I get drunk?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Saudi Arabia doesn't want to make accommodations to welcome international travelers, that's their loss.

Does Saudi Arabia even need the tourism revenue? Japan sure does.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

'Japan is a largely homogeneous country with only around 100,000 practising Muslims, who have distinct needs when they travel including restaurants serving halal food and prayer rooms at airports, shopping malls and hotels.'

No problem. As for restaurants, if people see a chance to make money from a religious group on holiday, good luck to them. However, I've always thought it's a real pity that people impose rules on themselves regarding what they can do or eat when visiting another country. As for prayer rooms, no problem as long as they are open to all people saying prayers to whomever or whatever.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are thousands of religions and dozens of "major" religious out there, but only muslim groups always clamour for special treatment. Who is going to pay for all the prayer rooms at "airports, shopping malls and hotels"? Everybody else, if this is included in the general budget? I resent having to pay a de-fact to religious tax. Is there a way to opt out?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I will support prayer rooms when they are open to ALL religions including that spagetti ones.Until then and until muslims learn to contain their extremists and learn to leave in peace with others, I reckon they should be banned from entering. Sorry but all muslim protests are violent, they seem to never try to blend with society they live in and always present themselves as the victims. enough of that crap, I reckon in Rome behave like a Roman so if you come to travel to largelry secular country - eat pork, drink alcohol and dont complain!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Japan will offer them lots of delicious foods, clean and safely prepared and nicely-presented.

Not only for Muslims but also for Hindus, some Christian sects etc,.... when they visit and probably live in Japan, they will understand, possibly re-educated and fully-aware that it is not the one (food) that comes inside their mouth that make or will make them nice, upright and clean people BUT THE ONE (the thing) that comes to the mouth. Being tactless, loud mouth hypocritically, mouth with strong opinion, sarcastic in expression, and the likes will bring them trouble.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

AU user since 1998:

" Being tactless, loud mouth hypocritically, mouth with strong opinion, sarcastic in expression, and the likes will bring them trouble. "

That is not really the issue. You find good and bad behaviour among all groups. The issue is how much Japanese society should bend over to special demands, and who should pay for them. You can see where this train is heading by looking at Europe, where in many countries school lunches now have been made halal-conformant, in the name of "multicultural tolerance". Well, nobody asked e.g. the Hindus, Sikhs, or Buddhists about being forced to eat meat butched according to islamic rituals and certified by islamic authorities. "Tolerance" here has become a code word for "submission". I really hope that Japan is not headed in the same direction.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I just don't think fervent followers of any religion make particularly good tourists. Tourism is mostly about indulging yourself in material happiness, which runs contrary to the teachings of every major religion. If these businesses have reliable data that shows the opposite, then they should be doing it. But I'm completely sceptical that it makes much business sense and it has a whiff of desperation and lack of ideas about it.

For 2020, let's start with some basic and obvious things that benefit everyone like multilingual signage. A prayer room won't be much use to anyone if you have to read Japanese to find it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"The vast majority of muslims live peaceful lives."

And the vast majority of the muslim world is an intolerant, sad, backward - and yes violent - place.

"And they are people, like you and I."

The problem is not the people, but the intolerant and medieval ideology. In many of their countries, everyone is automatically born a muslim and then conversion is made a serious crime.

Anyway, I'm sure theyll find Japan a great place to pray to Mecca five times a day in gender segregated prayer rooms and consume pork-free ramen.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I wonder if Japan will start selling Cool Biz Burkas.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

New visa conditions make it easier for one of the many Muslim terrorists to attack planes flying to and from Japan. It will also make it easier for these terrorists to form cells here. Kosher and Halal slaughter of an animal by slitting its throat and allowing the blood to drain out was considered necessary in the days before refrigeration in hot climates (as the Muslims learned this from the Jews), but it is totally unnecessary to inflict this inhumane ritual nowadays.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

WilliB:

Some economists computed that the money that the tourists spend (if the money comes from outside the country their are visiting) has benefits of 2 to 4 folds. So for 1 dollar that a tourist spend will have 2 to 4 dollar worth of money that is given to the host country.

Tourism also have some indirect benefits.

It is just normal for us, the taxpayers here in Japan to provide them such facilities as sign of respect and welcoming. Anyway, Japan economy outside Japan is even greater than the economy inside Japan. The assets and money of Japan and Japanese companies worldwide is more than 8 trillion US Dollars, much bigger than the 5 Trillion US Dollar worth of the Japan local economy.

There is no problem if the food are made to be Halal-conformant, as long as the labor/capital spent on those foods are added to the costs and not subsidized by the peoples tax/money. Besides only few religious groups are still believing that the things that comes inside their mouth will make them clean and nice person or being. When Muslims tourists travel to other countries and exposed to other civilization, their fanaticism will be diluted. They will surely realize that dining at Hooters or in going out in Roppongi do not make them bad person. Likewise going to the Church or Mosque everyday do not make them good people.

The other point here is for the Muslim countries to be more friendly and accommodating to other religions. Some Muslim countries are even hostile and unwelcoming even to other Muslims is Islamic denominations. Muslims are usually intolerant and immature and and one-sided beings. Japan is one of the few countries who are matured enough to offer quality of life to foreigners.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jefflee:

" In many of their countries, everyone is automatically born a muslim and then conversion is made a serious crime. "

Actually, that is part of Shariah law and is applied in all countries that have Shariah. According to Sharia, every child of a muslim is automatically muslim, and apostesy is not allowed (punishable by death according to Shariah).

If Japan now wants to become Shariah compliant in order to attract muslim tourists, one really has to wonder how many more Shariah laws we want to adaopt. Just to mention one example, toilets must be arraged so the seating is sideways to Meccah (in the UK, the government has been spending millions to re-build prison toilets like that). Is Japan going to do the same? And the list is endless..... there are Shariah laws (all of them completely nonsensical to non-believers) for all aspects of life.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There are thousands of religions and dozens of "major" religious out there, but only muslim groups always clamour for special treatment. Who is going to pay for all the prayer rooms at "airports, shopping malls and hotels"? Everybody else, if this is included in the general budget? I resent having to pay a de-fact to religious tax. Is there a way to opt out?

Who will pay? The tourists will pay, with their delicious foreign currency. Airports are private enterprises.

Does Saudi Arabia even need the tourism revenue?

Saudi Arabia doesn't need it, but it gets bucketloads from pilgrims to Mecca anyway. Very clever making religious pilgrimage one of the pillars of your religion. Kaching!

only muslim groups always clamour for special treatment

With respect to tourism in Japan, no-one is clamoring or making demands. It's a business. Your market votes with its wallet and if you want in on the action, you cater to it. Not sure why this is so hard for some people to understand. One minute people are whinging about the awful trade deficit and the next they're turning their nose up at incoming foreign currency.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But I'm completely skeptical that it makes much business sense and it has a whiff of desperation and lack of ideas about it.

I am skeptical if everything turns out as expected by Japanese government, especially with Muslim tourists.

Tons of money earmarked for promotion seems to have been and will be wasted somewhere in the working of bureaucratic process.

Take a look at the signs written in supposedly English on the street of Naha where I live. The chances are high that you need an interpreter.

What we need a complete overhaul of administrator to drive the tourism more effectively and efficiently.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nessie:

" Who will pay? The tourists will pay, with their delicious foreign currency. Airports are private enterprises. "

You are assuming that those muslim prayer rooms will be pay per usage. Now, that would be a first. I have never seen that. What you can expect instead is that they will be built and maintained out of the general budget, and we all pay for them. (Which is actually fine under Shariah.... non-muslims are supposed to pay the Jihza tax.)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

As a Buddhist I got no problems making facilities for other faiths.

May it be a chapel small synagogue's, etc. Thailand bhuddist monks also expect separate facilities and preferential treatment over every one else.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yet, many countries incl my one have a large presence of them and NO problems, mime even got cited the best country worldwide for their integration.

People really need to look on who is problem themselves or the others.

From experience I can tell that many posters here are not accepting and will be the troublemakers blaming it on the other side.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

a halal food and muslim in japan , when the quarrel starts there will be suicide vest and jihad announcing but anyway if that measure is made for national profit , 1) Step carefully 2) strict the laws and watch people with extremism ideology thinking and pray for everything goes well . Muslim in japan will destroy the beautiful culture of japan I think ,since they have no culture , Suck saudi arabia/ Gulf brat's money and give them the least of what you can do for them ( make the price too hot )

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Tourism is mostly about indulging yourself in material happiness, which runs contrary to the teachings of every major religion

So that's why the Vatican, Sultan Ahmet Camii, St. Paul's Cathedral Notre Dame, Angkor Wat, Jerusalem, Kyoto, Nara, and the Potala Palace are always so empty.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

'Yet, many countries incl my one have a large presence of them and NO problems'

I'm a UK citizen. I wish I could say the same thing.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@SenseNotSoCommon

So that's why the Vatican, Sultan Ahmet Camii, St. Paul's Cathedral Notre Dame, Angkor Wat, Jerusalem, Kyoto, Nara, and the Potala Palace are always so empty.

Matteo Marzotto, president of the Italian government's tourism board, said.... "Religious tourists probably tend to spend less money than average," he said. "After all, churches don't cost anything to visit, and my guess is that for the most part they are less likely to spend large sums on luxuries."

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/AroundTheWorld/story?id=7303780

1 ( +2 / -1 )

katsu, well said.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Katsu;

" A lot of you spreading Islamophobic hatre "

Can you identify where you say "islamophobic hatred"?

Just for your information, stating facts is not "hatred", even if the facts not flattering.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan announced in June 15-day visa-free entry for Indonesians and has relaxed entry requirements for Malaysians and Thais as well. Indonesia is the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation and Malaysia has a predominantly Muslim population.

In 2013, the top three source markets for Muslim travellers to Japan were Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, according to Fazal.

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It is reporting tourists from Asia nations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

choiwaruioyaji:

" Where is the fun in Islam? "

Well, lets ask an expert: "There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious." (Ayatollha Khomeini)

That said, there are different branches of islam, and they are all as puritan. In particular, Indonesian Sunni muslims, which would be be the largest group in case of Japan, tend to follow a more relaxed version. You can even see muslims in Java observing old pagan rituals, something which would get their head chopped off in places like Saudi Arabia, not to mention the new ISIS caliphate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore ----- Japanese tourists visit there, too. Chinese tourists visit. too. As Singapore belongs to China, Foreign visitors to Singapore, Chinese visa works to visit Singapore. Those three Asian visitors are very welcomed in Japan, I'd bet. Don't sound these Asian nations enforce strict religious rules. There are Las Vegas style huge casinos in Malaysia and Singapore.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's often said that "sake is the glue that holds Japanese society together" - or something like that - so it will be interesting to see what Muslim tourists think when they see the citizens of Tokyo (and their foreign mates) stumbling around on a Saturday night! Good luck to them. If understanding and tolerance increases on both sides this could be a really positive trend for the future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It has nothing to do with sake or shinto or whatever someone thinks entire Japanese people enjoy, stereotyping. Not everyone drink sake - tea, maybe. Shinto? Many people are not religious in the world and Japan is not exception Just people from Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia people like to visit Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just came back from Malaysia with many Muslim people on my flight. Very friendly and respectful.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

DeDude just wrote experience. The comment is just experience that had no confused opinion such as Malaysia is in that terrible middle east culture. Just Malaysia people on airplane. The comment did not include that airline crushes. Not even Genting casino-hotels. the comment just had experience with other riders. On airlines, people behave civil.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese Constitution guarantee freedom of Religion. That is why Catholic and Christian people can live in Japan. Watch out if you want to ban muslim in Japan. if Japan prohibits Muslim, very quiclkly any Catholic and Christian people from Catholic and Christina countries will be kicked out from Japan same way people from Muslim countries will be kicked out.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why would Japan prohibit Muslims when they have been living here peacefully for more than 100 years. In fact last night going home on the bus from the Kobe fireworks I was talking with two young Muslims who were both kind and pleasant in their natures? I think there are about 100,000 Muslims in Japan and some of those are also Japanese.

Nearly all the gas and oil imports are from Muslim countries except about 9% of LNG coming from Russia but that amount was due to increase except now with the tales of woe with Putin.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

You are assuming that those muslim prayer rooms will be pay per usage.

I'm not assuming that, any more than I'm assuming departure gates are pay per usage. For every traveler passing through the airport, a portion of his or her ticket price goes to airport fees, via the airline. More visitors, more fees.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good grief. Why does Japan have to do anything to cater to the peculiarities of tourists? When I visit Japan, I do so because I like Japan for being Japan, and it'd be downright disrespectful to expect the Japanese to make things just like home for me.

Part of the joy of visiting any foreign country is that it takes you away from your everyday at home existence and presents new experiences - whether that be in food, local culture, ideas, and beliefs. If I want the country I am visiting to change itself to be just like the country I live in, why bother leaving home at all?

If the beliefs of Muslims (or any other group) are so precious that they expect others to cater to their religious oddities, then perhaps tourism and foreign travel should be scratched from their list of entertainment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

M3M3M3,

"Religious tourists probably tend to spend less money than average."

Signore Marzotto refers to pilgrims who, regardless of social status, will shun immodest living for the duration of their trip, be it the Haj, the Way of St. James, prostrating oneself in Lhasa or doing the Shikoku temple trail.

Muslim visitors to Japan are not on pilgrimage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In 2013, the top three source markets for Muslim travellers to Japan were Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, according to Fazal. Fazal said expenditure by Muslim travellers globally is expected to reach $200 billion by 2020, or 13.5 percent of the global total, up from $140 billion in 2013.

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The report only computed Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Nothing mentioned about Pakistan or Middle East Countries. Good income to Japan from these three Asian country tourists. I wonder what they buy? Silk Kimonos? there are many portable gadgets they can buy in Japan. Women can get silk scarf or furoshiki for their head.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nessie:

" I'm not assuming that, any more than I'm assuming departure gates are pay per usage. For every traveler passing through the airport, a portion of his or her ticket price goes to airport fees, via the airline. More visitors, more fees. "

So that means my and your ticket price includes the cost of muslim prayer rooms. Again, do you think they will offer an opt-out for those of us who do not need and and want it? Or are you OK with paying what amounts to an islamic tax when buying your ticket?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Willi

Are they "Muslim prayer rooms", or are they "prayer rooms"?

There's a big difference....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Trying to eat kosher here is just as hard as trying to eat Halal.

There is basically pork in everything. What will happen is that people will lie to them and they will eat and enjoy.

The scarfs are sexy on young tiny women.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All tourists are welcome to Japan... But they should all be peace loving.. Everybody has freedom here so hope the tourist don't miss use it...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So that means my and your ticket price includes the cost of muslim prayer rooms. Again, do you think they will offer an opt-out for those of us who do not need and and want it? Or are you OK with paying what amounts to an islamic tax when buying your ticket?

The ticket price includes the costs for all facilities. Do you use the women's restrooms? Guess what: You're paying a woman tax. Are you going to complain about this too?

In theory, the more passengers there are, the lower the landing fees can be, because the per passenger cost is reduced. So there is a potential discount for you. In addition, the more profit the airport generates, the more taxes the airport will pay. Should Muslims visitors complain that they're subsidizing your consumption tax?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

$$ talks! Japan now is in bad, bad shape! If Japan can get more $$ from decent, hard working Muslim tourists?? It is a huge market that Japan has not actively tried to take advantage of. But I think, slowly but surely, Japan will try to make itself more international, like Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Elbuda,

I think, slowly but surely, Japan will try to make itself more international, like Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc...

It's got a lot to change then.

Most of the school curriculum above elementary school needs scrapping. It's utterly terrible and guarantees that most high school and university graduates will be incapable of a simple conversation in English or any other foreign language. Very little of it aligns with what is taught in other countries.

Immigration should be easier. They make it unnecessarily difficult for foreigners to come here,

And my third rant is roads.

How come Japan, which considers itself to be a high tech country, doesn't have STREET/ROAD names and HOUSE NUMBERS?

Everywhere else on the planet has a system where streets have names and the names are prominently displayed on each corner. They have house numbers usually displayed fairly prominently, so that you can quickly and easily find the house you're looking for. It used to drive me nuts trying to find places when I first came here. Taxi drivers don't know. No one knows!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Nearly all the gas and oil imports are from Muslim countries..."

Including Algeria, where Islamists slaughtered 10 Japanese gas engineers last year.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Everywhere else on the planet has a system where streets have names and the names are prominently displayed on each corner.

You need to get out more, Mr. Wooster.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Everywhere else on the planet has a system where streets have names and the names are prominently displayed on each corner.

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In city I live in USA, there are stop signs on street corners. (No street names on corners) I believe our city is on the planet.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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