Malaysian Muslims Avoid Japanese Food Due to Lack of Halal Signs

From Chiang Hee Tze

TOKYO, Aug 25 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The uncertainty of ‘halal’ status is
seen as one of the main reasons why Muslims in Malaysia or Japan shy
away from Japanese restaurants or foodstuff.

The situation might change once Japanese chain stores or restaurants
opened up stores or restaurants in Malaysia to promote fruits or food
that are ‘halal’, so as to dispel the misunderstanding among Muslims
here and in Japan, said Daisho Food (M) Sdn Bhd sales manager Masato

He said Japanese restaurants or chain stores normally displayed
‘non-halal’ signs for food but no labels or signs would be displayed
for ‘halal’ food or fruits.

“They (Malaysian Muslims) avoid going to Japanese restaurants or buy
Japanese food from stores because they are worried that ‘non-halal’
meat and alcohol may be used to prepare such food,” he told Bernama
after attending the Japan Food Business Meeting organized by the Japan
External Trade Organizaition (JETRO) here on Tuesday.

JETRO is an agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
cooperation that has 73 offices throughout the world and promote
business opportunities between Japanese and foreign companies.

It promotes business opportunities between Japanese suppliers and
foreign buyers from countries like Malaysia, China (Hong Kong,
Shanghai, Guangzhou), United States, France, United Kingdom and India.

DAISHO imports and exports 1,500 types of Japanese foodstuff for
supermarkets, hypermarkets, factories, hotels, restaurants, and
specializes in supplying a variety of quality frozen seafood, product
for Sushi, canned food, processed frozen food, frozen food, seasoning
and rice products.

However, Masato said since ‘halal’ food is a potential market, DAISHO
would try to find details of halal food via the Japan food business

He reiterated that fresh vegetables and fruits imported from Japan were ‘halal’ and Muslim consumers need not be doubtful.

He said most of the imported vegetables and fruits were of high quality
although prices may be a little higher but since consumers are always
looking for quality products there is a vast potential for such
products in Malaysia.

“We imported Japanese vegetables and fruits for the last three years
but there was no market but now people choose Japanese food because of
it’s safety assurance,” he said.