• Kyodo

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A campus cafeteria at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University has received halal certification, becoming the largest halal-certified food facility in the country, according to Nippon Asia Halal Association, the nonprofit organization that grants the certification.

Every day, about 3,000 people, including students from Muslim countries, eat at the cafeteria, located at Beppu, Oita Prefecture.

Under Islamic law, even if pork or alcohol that Muslims should not eat or drink are not included in the dish, cooking with utensils that come into contact with either is also prohibited.

About 500 students from Muslim countries are enrolled at the university. The cafeteria menu shows which dishes do not include pork and alcohol, but it took a step further and became more strict in using utensils according to standards set by the halal association.

The cafeteria provides 36 dishes, including Japanese, Chinese, Western and ethnic foods. “If it is certified, I don’t have to worry when I eat. If the number of halal-certified restaurants increases, it would be easier for Islamic students to come to Japan,” said a 20-year-old student from India.

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