For the past eight years, Japan has been preparing for the 2020 Olympics. By conducting the Olympics mega event successfully, it wants to shake off the legacy of the 1990s and 2000s when the economy was weak and the country seemed to lose its sense of direction. The 2020 Olympics hopes to provide an opportunity for Japan to revive its economy and give a new direction for the nation as a whole.
To achieve its long term objectives of economic revival, it started focusing on the halal industry apart from offering stimulus packages and other measures. it has also stepped up efforts to portray itself as an important tourist destination for travelers from around the world. Thanks to the massive efforts both at the public and private partnerships at all levels, it has been attracting millions of overseas visitors including a large number of Muslim travelers from South East Asia and other parts of the world.
To cater to the growing needs of these Muslim travelers, the Japanese government, as well as private companies, have made massive efforts to make the availability of halal food in most of the major cities in the country. Now, you can find halal food of all types almost everywhere. However, as we are approaching the 2020 Olympics in a few months` time, we have to see where the Japanese halal industry is heading once the mega event is over.
To be able to understand the real mechanics of the halal industry in Japan, we have to dig deeper as to why the halal industry actually got started about 10 years ago when the Muslim population in the country is not even 1% of the total population. In our opinion, there are quite a few reasons behind the start of the halal industry in Japan. Some of the factors are listed below.
- The Japanese population has been decreasing consistently. So, they have to invite a large number of immigrants to maintain their living standards to keep up its infrastructure and provide the necessary support to its rapidly aging population.
- The Japanese economy has been undergoing massive restructuring after the bubble burst in April 1991. Other countries such as China and South Korea are becoming more competitive. So, the exports from Japan have been decreasing on a yearly basis. The Japanese companies have been working hard and smart to grow their halal exports to Muslim-majority countries in the years to come. They have been partnering with Malaysian, Indonesian, and halal manufacturers from other countries to expand their reach in the Muslim-majority economies.
- Japan is fast becoming an important tourist destination from visitors from all over the world. And the global halal industry and Muslim tourism have big potential. Japan wants to get a sizable share of the global halal business opportunities.
- For the past two decades, Japan has been trying to diversify its economy. The exponential growth in the size of the global halal economy provides an opportunity for global players like Japan to grab the massive business opportunities the Islamic economy has to offer internationally.
Based on the above factors, we think that the Japanese halal industry is not a fad that will go away after the 2020 Olympics. It is here to stay for a long time to come.