YOKOHAMA – The immigration control office in Yokohama erroneously provided a Muslim man in detention with pork, contrary to the dietary doctrine of his religion, prompting him to launch a hunger strike, officials said.
The man, who was being detained for deportation procedures, found bacon in a salad provided for lunch Aug. 12 and complained. Officials changed the salad to one without pork and he ate the lunch, but he started refusing meals from the next morning.
The office — the Yokohama branch of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau — declined to provide detailed information about the man, including his age and nationality.
“Such a mistake is something that should not take place. We will try to avoid a recurrence,” an official said.
Although officials apologized to the man, he had continued to refuse meals as of Monday, ingesting only water and nutrition supplements provided by a doctor.
However, an official said detainees have access to fruit and other food sold there, so the man may be taking some solid food.
The branch usually asks meal delivery service providers not to use pork in meals for Muslims and checks delivered meals, officials said.
They said they did not know how the slip-up occurred in this case.