Thursday, 8 December 2011

"The relationship between Islam and Japan"

Lecture by Minister Sato, Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia"The relationship between Islam and Japan"

Islam is peaceful religion

Assalamu'alaikum Warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Relations between Japan and Indonesia is one of the important bilateral relationship for Japan. From the exchanges and friendship that has long been established, many Japanese people who feel close and loving Indonesia.
Exchange of people from Japan and Indonesia in the 1600s (one thousand six hundred). When some Japanese people living in Indonesia that is still in the colonial era. According to the documents, in 1897 (one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven), approximately 130 (one hundred thirty) Japanese residing on the island of Java. Now, more than 10,000 (ten thousand) Japanese residing in Indonesia, and Indonesia more than 20,000 people living in Japan. From this figure, it can be said that the exchange between people is growing rapidly. In terms of economic relations, Japan is the country's largest trading partner for Indonesia, and also the largest donor country. Through the exchange of people and the economy, many Japanese interest towards Indonesia, want to know about Indonesia, and want to be familiar with Indonesia. And indeed, the Japanese people's understanding of Indonesia, constantly deepened.
On the other hand, Indonesia is known as a country that has the largest Muslim population in the world. The question arises, how is the relationship between Indonesia and Japan viewed from the point of view of Islam.

In recent years, Japan is trying to deepen its relationship with the international community, in which attention was drawn to the growing Islamic community. So the attention of the Japanese people towards Islam had become very large.
If we go to the bookstore in Japan, we can see many books on Islam. However, unfortunately, most of her concerns, only limited curiosity about Islam in relation to various problems that occurred during this period. Not yet come to the understanding of Islam is quite adequate. In the history of our country more associated with Confucianism, Buddhism and Shinto, the existence of Islam is not something that exists in Japanese society. In addition, the policy of seclusion around for 200 (two hundred years), from the mid 17th century (seventeen), so there is no contact between Japan and Islam.

It was only in the Meiji era, in 1875 (one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five), or 77 (seventy seven), the literature on Islam from Europe or China, began to be translated and into Japan.
Then, in 1890 (one thousand nine hundred and fifty depalan), there was an event that brings the Japanese and Islam. This event is known as the Ship Incident Ertogrul. A Turkish ship sank in the waters of Japan. Of the 600 (six hundred) passengers, only 69 (sixty nine) who survived. Japanese government and people together to try to help the survivors and held a ceremony honoring the spirits of the passengers who died. Those who survived, finally able to return to their country thanks to donations collected from all the people of Japan. These events trigger the Turkish government sent an envoy to Japan in 1891 (one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one). Very good relationship with Turkey, also brought victory for Japan in the war with Russia that began in 1904 (one thousand nine hundred four). It is said, at the time of the Russian imperial fleet crossed the Baltic Sea, Turkey notify Japan, and therefore, Japan won victory. After the incident, which is about the 1900's, for the first time Japanese Muslims go to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage. Since then, Islam began to be widely known.
In the Second World War-2 (two), in the midst of Japan's policy of expansion, arising out of high interest to the people of Asia. The Japanese began to know that among the people of Asia are Muslim people. Then suddenly it became necessary as a state policy to conduct research of Islam. Then formed many research institutes, organizations and associations Islamic studies, and even published a variety of magazines and books. Such boom arises about Islam. However, the Japanese government at that time, view Islam as the religion of God Almighty Esanya Arabs, not in accordance with the principle that the Japanese military as well as Shintoism worship many gods. Because it still should not be preaching Islam.

After the end of World War 2, the countries of Asia and Africa independence, and many Islamic states emerged on the world stage. Established a close relationship between Japan and Islamic countries, mainly because the Middle East is a source of oil for Japan. Thanks to these things, Japan increasingly concerned diplomatic relations with Islamic countries, both in terms of diplomacy and the economy. Can be seen, the increasing attention to Islam began only recently. If we compare with the entry of Buddhism into Japan in the year 538 (five hundred thirty-eight) of China and the Christian religion that goes along with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1549 (one thousand five hundred and forty-nine), can be seen how much is still short history of the relationship between Japan and Islam. At this time, he said Japanese citizen who converted to Islam, numbering around 7,000 (seven thousand) people. When compared with a population of Japan, about 120 (one hundred twenty) million people, this figure is very small indeed. It is unfortunate also, the various incidents of terrorism by radical groups, resulting in reduced image of Islam.

Although it does not need to explain again, almost all adherents of Islam have very different ideas with their radical, especially the Muslim Indonesia is the lover of peace. I think our mission is to deliver it.
For me, my assignment to Indonesia was the first into an Islamic state. Therefore, my statement may be a little 'pro' Indonesia. But every day I interact with Muslims from various backgrounds, starting in the morning with my driver, then with my secretary, also with my partners such as members of the MPR / DPR, scientists, and others. I feel the generosity and peace of mind of the Muslims in my encounters with them. Of course, we can not generalize Islam in a just conclusion, but that I feel is, how Islam is derived from the Middle East can blend in with the culture of Indonesia, especially the Javanese culture.

For example, we can see there is a building shaped mosque joglo. The clothes you wear any, like sarongs and batik, showing the entry element of Islam in Indonesian society without the loss of traditional cultural elements. I think this is the same as the Japanese are still protecting their traditional culture in combining elements of Western culture into the lives of Japanese society.

ni just examples, but I believe we have a mission. We must try to deepen mutual understanding, with each element looking for equality, and mutual respect for differences. In my opinion, my personal experience in Indonesia should be widely disseminated to everyone.

In Japan in the year one thousand nine hundred thirty (1930), there are only two mosques, but now there are more than a hundred mosques. Islamic Society in Japan, at most one premises, then people of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iran. Islamic Center and Muslim Association of Japan in Tokyo became the center of Islamic studies and Arabic for the citizens of Japan, which attracted the attention of many young Japanese. I believe, the accumulation of many small businesses like this, can contribute to a more peaceful world.

I first visited the boarding school at the end of last year, namely the Al Hikam boarding school in Malang. At that time, I had the opportunity to attend the official opening of the course-level S-2. Today, I visited a boarding school Asshiddiqiyah first visit to boarding school in Jakarta. From what I hear, boarding schools are educational institutions that are important to education in Indonesia, then I want to witness firsthand, what kind of boarding school, and what yan studied by the students. As my curiosity, I hope you all also want to know more about Japan.

Through exchanges like this, I sugguh hope that friendship between Indonesia and Japan, between the Japanese and Indonesian Muslims, can develop. And I pray that this kind of education where, could deepen mutual understanding between Japan and Indonesia. At other times, I hope you all can visit the Embassy of Japan, and we could see again. So, thank you.
Wassalamu'alaikun Warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

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