Abe hosts ‘iftar’ dinner party for Muslim nations


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted on Wednesday an “iftar” dinner party, inviting ambassadors and diplomats from around 40 Muslim countries to the prime minister’s office in Tokyo with the aim of deepening mutual understanding.

In opening remarks at the dinner, Abe expressed a desire to visit more Muslim nations soon, saying his recent trips to the Middle East and Southeast Asia made him realize “the unbroken bond that has been nurtured over a long period of time” between Japan and the Muslim world.

Abe introduced sumo wrestler Osunaarashi, the first sekitori from Africa, who was among the guests, as a “bridge” between Japan and the Muslim world. The wrestlers in sumo’s top two divisions, juryo and makuuchi, are referred to as sekitori.

The Egyptian sekitori, whose real name is Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan, has been praised in Japan for compiling a winning record in the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament earlier in the month while fasting from dawn to dusk on the days the tournament overlapped with Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting.

Algerian Ambassador to Japan Sid Ali Ketrandji, who led the Islamic diplomatic corps, said Japan and the Muslim world “have a lot in common” and he hopes to enhance “mutually beneficial collaboration” in addressing issues in the economic, social and scientific fields

Iftar is the meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast after sunset every day during Ramadan, which this year is roughly a one-month period from July 9.

  • Klaus D. Orth

    So, what is it that Japan and the Muslim world have in common? I don’t quite understand and maybe someone can enlighten me?
    If it’s partying – I see no ties – I mean, what’s a party without alcohol.
    If it’s eating habits – oh well, there goes the yakiniku party.
    If it’s religious believes – I don’t think there are any grounds.
    If it’s making money – ok, we can talk about that!
    Anything I forgot? Please anyone help me and make me smart!

    • Guest

      A attempt at irony and sarcasm?
      Moronic and ignorant are the words that come to my mind.

    • Charlie Sommers

      The main tie between Japan and the Muslim world is that we are all human beings, regardless of our country of origin.

      Although I prefer to party with alcohol I have been to many parties that had no strong drink and had quite a good time anyway. Neither my daughter nor my two grown grandsons drink but nonetheless they enjoy a good party.

      As long as the yakiniku is made from halal or kosher meat it can be eaten by Muslims. There is a debate in the Muslim Community in which some say that even non-halal meats are okay for consumption when in a non-Muslim country.

      Religious beliefs have nothing to do with whether or not you can socialize with another. I am a Buddhist, my wife follows Shinto, but we have friends who are Christians, Pagans, Muslims, and Atheists. We get along well with all of them.

      The Algerian Ambassador to Japan discussed “mutually beneficial collaboration…,’ which I suppose you could classify under the heading of, “Making Money.” The world has shrunk considerably over the centuries and we have become more and more dependent on each other.

      Abe’s iftar was a great idea and I applaud him for hosting it.

  • vasu

    Nothing wrong praising others’ way of life especially in the name of their belief but isn’t it wiser to glean what about our own in their eyes .would they have same reciprocal views ?

  • Umar

    Abe is looking to the Muslim world with regards to getting investments in Japan, also he does need to secure oil imports to keep the nation going after it has decommissioned most of its nuclear reactors.