JTB, Singaporean certification sign deal to strengthen halal foods sold in Japan

02, Dec. 2019

SINGAPORE, NNA- Japanese travel agency JTB Corp. and Singaporean certification firm Warees Halal Ltd. have agreed to work together on ensuring that food sold to Japan’s growing number of Muslim tourists meets halal standards.

Under a deal sealed on Friday, the travel agency’s Singapore arm JTB Pte. Ltd. and Singapore government-linked Warees, part of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, will help Japanese firms earn halal certification as well as promote exports of Singaporean halal-certified products in Japan.

Halal refers to food that contains no pork or alcohol, which are requirements of many Muslim consumers.

Halal-certification is often hard for Japanese restaurants to get because they are unable to eliminate pork and alcohol from their ingredients. The two signatories plan to develop a quasi-halal, Muslim-friendly certificate as a preliminary step, JTB Asia Pacific official Craig Tan Chiu Keong told NNA at a signing ceremony in Singapore Friday.

The two parties will initially offer halal education for the Japanese travel and food industries.

JTB Pte. Ltd. and Warees are planning to hold educational workshops on halal foods for food makers, importers, restaurants and travel agencies, Warees CEO Dewi Hartaty Suratty told NNA. Both parties see business opportunities for the halal industry in Japan as growing numbers of Muslim tourists travel there, she said.

The combined number of visitors to Japan from Malaysia and Indonesia, both predominantly Muslim countries, more than doubled to 865,212 in 2018 compared to those in 2014, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization, a government agency.

Warees, which was founded five years ago as a nonprofit, provides international halal certification services.

(From L to R) Dewi Hartaty Suratty, CEO of Warees Halal Ltd., Sallim Abdul Kadir, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Warees Halal, Toru Ikuta, president and CEO of JTB Pte. Ltd., Naoyoshi Tashiro, General Manager of JTB Pte Ltd, pose for a signing ceremony in Singapore on Nov. 29, 2019.
(From L to R) Dewi Hartaty Suratty, CEO of Warees Halal Ltd., Sallim Abdul Kadir, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Warees Halal, Toru Ikuta, president and CEO of JTB Pte. Ltd., Naoyoshi Tashiro, General Manager of JTB Pte Ltd, pose for a signing ceremony in Singapore on Nov. 29, 2019.