Shortage of Muslim Graveyards in Japan
August 17, 2010, 3:08 am
Filed under: Islam, Japan | Tags: , , , , ,

Muslims in Japan are worried by graveyard shortage, where graveyard sites are difficult to obtain.

While Christians in Japan generally are cremated when they die in line with the nation’s custom, Muslims more strictly adhere to religious principles. Generally, bodies of Muslims are buried uncremated in the places where they spent long periods during life.

Though the Japan Muslim Association and the Islamic Center Japan, a Setagaya Ward, Tokyo-based mutual aid organization for Muslims, searched for places nationwide where Muslims’ bodies could be buried, their requests largely were declined by cemetery managers.

One said, “The image of burial without cremation isn’t good.”

Despite such efforts, the two Muslim organizations could find only three sites–in Koshu, Kobe and Yoichicho–where bodies of Muslims could be buried uncremated.

However, Kobe’s cemetery is run by the city government and permits only city residents to be laid to rest there. The cemetery in Yoichicho is located in a remote part of Hokkaido, making it inconvenient for relatives to visit graves.

Therefore, many Muslims have chosen the Islamic cemetery in Koshu, in Yamanashi Prefecture west of Tokyo. However, Kazuhiko Furuya, 44, Monjuin’s chief priest, said, “The cemetery will be full in a few years.

To all Muslims organizations around the world, please support  (The Japan Muslim Association) and (The Islamic Center Japan) specially the ones in the gulf region, to solve this major issue. Imagine if your beloved one has to be cremated.


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