Dr Humaid Al Qattami, Minister of Education, and Daisuke Matsunaga, Consul General of Japan, cut a cake to celebrate the Japanese emperor’s birthday at the Grand Hyatt. Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: Fresh off celebrating it’s own National Day on Thursday, Japan is going all out to woo Muslim tourists as it issues special guide of halal eateries and mosques around the country.

“Japan is becoming more and more Muslim-friendly country. We have a number of halal restaurants in major cities and many places have mosques of their own. We welcome tourists from UAE and Middle East to visit Japan and enjoy its beauty and hospitality,” said Daisuke Matsunaga, Consul General of Japan to Dubai, as he marked the holiday on Thursday.

As part of the policy to attract tourists from the region, Japan has designed a special guide that details all the information about restaurants offering halal food as well as mosques as well as other services that cater to Muslim tourists.

The Japan Travel Guide for Muslim Travellers is available on official Japan Toursim website: www.jnto.org.

Earlier last month, Japan eased visa process of Emiratis, who can now have multiple entry visas valid up to three years.

With the UAE emerging as Japan’s biggest economic partner in the Middle East, the bilateral relationship between the two economic powerhouses has never been better.

“The ties have grown stronger following Japanese Prime Minster’s visit to UAE earlier this year,” stated Matsunaga, speaking of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the country in May this year.

The visit saw signing of several strategic agreements between the two countries.

“The fact that the Prime Minister visited the UAE so soon after taking the office shows how important UAE is to Japan. The visit marked a new high in the bilateral relationship as the two countries signed a tax treaty a nuclear agreement and MoU in cultural exchanges,” added Matsunaga, speaking to Gulf News during the celebrations to mark Emperor Akihito’s 80 birthday.

As much as 30 per cent of Japan’s oil imports come from UAE, while UAE is the biggest importer of Japanese products in the region.

Matsunga hailed the UAE’s progress in all sectors and congratulated the country’s leadership and people for winning the hosting rights of Expo 2020.

“As an aviation hub, with connections to places all over the world, and people of all nationalities living and working here peacefully together, Dubai will be an ideal host city for the Expo and I wish the country every success with this exciting event,”

Dr Humaid Al Qattami, UAE Minister of Education, graced the occasion and was particularly pleased by the beautiful rendition of UAE national anthem by Japanese school students.