Multiculturalism in Japan halal tourism: localizing the concept of halal

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Abstract

Since 2014, Japan has been developing halal tourism in order to increase the number of tourists. The halal tourism project emphasizes Japan’s need to understand the halal concept in order to provide appropriate facilities. This research discusses how the halal concept as a foreign culture is understood to provide Muslim-friendly facilities and halal products’ guarantee. This study uses mixed methods: data were taken from the halal signifier pictograms in restaurants, collected from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Japan Muslim Guide websites. In addition, the data related to several halal products were also taken from the ‘Japan Halal’ Facebook account. The types and the quantity of pictograms used in restaurants that are recommended by JNTO and Japan Muslim Guide were interpreted to discover how the halal concept is understood in Japan using a multiculturalism framework. This study found that the concept of halal is understood through, and has been adapted to, Japanese local values: the acceptance of halal concept as foreign culture in Japan’s halal tourism is carried out through localization of the concept. Localizing the halal concept provides a strong contribution to tourist destination country, in this case, Japan, as a non-Muslim majority country, to be more attractive to the Muslim tourist in terms of the Japan’s ability in providing the halal facilities for the Muslims while also still showing Japan’s characteristic on its culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-289
JournalJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2022

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