INSIDE:

NEWS/STORIES/ARTICLES
Book Reviews
Columns/Opinion/Cartoon
Films
International
National

NW/Local
Recipes
Special A.C.E. Stories

Sports
Online Paper (PDF)

CLASSIFIED SECTION
Bids & Public Notices

NW Job Market

NW RESOURCE GUIDE

Consulates
Organizations
Scholarships
Special Sections

Upcoming

The Asian Reporter 20th Annual Scholarship & Awards Banquet -
Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Asian Reporter Info

About Us

Advertising Info.

Contact Us
Subscription Info. & Back Issues

 

 

ASIA LINKS
Currency Exchange

Time Zones
More Asian Links

Copyright © 1990 - 2018
AR Home

 


Where EAST meets the Northwest


MOBILE MOSQUE. A staff member operates the Mobile Mosque during an unveiling event for the mosque on wheels that has a capacity of up to 50 people, at Toyota Stadium in Toyota, western Japan. As Japan prepares to host visitors from around the world for the Summer Olympics in 2020, a Tokyo sports and cultural events company has created a mosque on wheels that its head hopes will make Muslim visitors feel at home. (Mobile Mosque Executive Committee via AP)

From The Asian Reporter, V28, #15 (August 6, 2018), page 7.

Tokyo company debuts Mobile Mosque ahead of 2020 Olympics

By Nicola Shannon

The Associated Press

TOKYO — A large white and blue truck pulls up outside a stadium in central Japan and slowly expands into a place of worship.

Welcome to the Mobile Mosque.

As Japan prepares to host visitors from around the world for the 2020 Summer Olympics, a Tokyo sports and cultural events company has created a mosque on wheels that its head hopes will make Muslim visitors feel at home.

Yasuharu Inoue, the CEO of Yasu Project, said the possibility that there might not be enough mosques for Muslim visitors in 2020 is alarming for a country that considers itself part of the international community. His Mobile Mosques could travel to different Olympic venues as needed.

"As an open and hospitable country, we want to share the idea of omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) with Muslim people," he said in a recent interview.

The first Mobile Mosque was unveiled outside Toyota Stadium, a J-League soccer venue in Toyota city, which is also the headquarters of the car company with the same name.

The back of the modified 25-ton truck flipped up to reveal an entrance and then the side slid out, doubling the width of the truck. The 515-square-foot room can accommodate 50 people.

Muslim guests prayed inside the mosque, which includes outdoor taps and a washing area for pre-worship cleansing.

Indonesian students who were victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami also participated in the debut ceremony.

"The Mobile Mosque is very important to Muslim people such as Japanese people or tourists, Muslim tourists who visit Japan," said 14-year-old Nur Azizah. "I want to show my friends."

An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 Muslims live in Japan.

Tatsuya Sakaguchi, a Japanese guest, expressed hope that the Mobile Mosque would help open people’s minds worldwide.

"Looking in from the outside at the people in the mosque, they looked very happy," said Sakaguchi, the representative director of an Osaka retail company.

Inoue said the inspiration for the project came to him on a trip to Qatar four years ago.

Initially, the project organizers plan to target international sporting events both in Japan and overseas. Inoue said he hopes the project will do more than fill a gap in religious infrastructure.

"Going forward, I would be so happy if people from Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, the Middle East, and, for example, refugees who are coming from Syria are able to use the mosque as a tool to promote world peace," he said.

Read the current issue of The Asian Reporter in its entirety!
Go to <www.asianreporter.com/completepaper.htm>!