URAYASU, Japan — A “mobile mosque” was unveiled in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture in late September, with Muslim residents of the Kanto region coming to say their prayers.

Capable of being sent anywhere, this mosque on wheels was created with an eye on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, as well as other international events that will be held in Japan.

The mosque looks like an ordinary truck when it travels on the road. Within minutes of parking, the sides expand to become a prayer room that can accommodate more than 50 people at once.

A Tokyo-based event organizing company and others came up with the idea for the mosque, in a bid to provide Japanese hospitality for Muslims.

“Infrastructure is being improved to accommodate visitors to Japan of various nationalities, cultures and religions. However, the nation is short of places of worship for Islam – one of the three major religions in the world,” said Yasuharu Inoue, head of the executive committee. “I’m a Buddhist, but I wanted to create an environment where everyone can say their prayers at ease.”

The mosque is expected to be leased to event organizers and dispatched to locations that don’t have sufficient rooms for prayer, such as gyms, stadiums and tourist facilities.

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