Despite the rise in foreign residents who practice Islam, cemeteries offering burials in accordance with the Quran remain sparse, and Muslims are struggling to convince a country where cremation is the norm that new sites are needed.

While Japan is home to an estimated 200,000 Muslims, a figure likely to grow as workers are sought to offset the national labor shortage, there are currently only seven locations for Islamic interment.

"It would take money, time, and effort to get buried in my native country, and it isn't realistic," said a 57-year-old man from Pakistan who resides in Sapporo.