National

New Tokyo Mosque opens

Worshippers view the interior of the newly built Tokyo Mosque, in Shibuya Ward, on Friday.

The Tokyo Mosque officially opened Friday in Shibuya Ward with a ceremony attended by Turkish government officials and other foreign dignitaries.

The construction of the Muslim sanctuary was commissioned by the Turkish government’s religious affairs agency and began in March 1998.

While a Japanese general contractor took charge of constructing the basic structure of the mosque, a group of Turkish specialists were invited to Japan to apply the finishing touches, mosque officials said.

The new three-story building replaces the old mosque, which was built by Turkish immigrants in 1938 and demolished in 1986 due to its aging structure.

“I believe this place serves to strengthen the ties between Japanese people and the Muslims here and plays a central role in international exchange,” Turkish Ambassador Yaman Baskut said in his address at the opening ceremony.