As I have written about here, here and here, Japan is not isolated from Islam’s exodus out of the Middle East. When I first came to Japan over 20 years ago, I never saw anyone wearing Muslim garb. Now, I see women wearing burqa in my traditional working class neighborhood, Muslim students at my child’s school are provided with specially prepared Halal meals and Muslims are seen almost everywhere one goes in Tokyo these days. Not that there is anything wrong with that, as the Seinfeld’s of the world will say.

Japan is considered to be a homogeneous society and a notoriously difficult place to live for foreigners. Many Japanese are not comfortable with outsiders living and working among them. No matter how well a foreigner may speak Japanese or adapt themselves to Japanese manners and societal norms, they will never be accepted in Japanese society. So what happens when Muslims, who have no intention of breaking with their religious customs or adapting to the local culture, come to Japan? Sounds like conflicts are inevitable, no?

Perhaps Muslims and Islam may be able to survive in Japan after all. It appears the Japanese are quite accommodating hosts…