Photo/Illutration A man picks up a halal product at a Lawson convenience store at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau in Nagoya’s Minato Ward. (Maiko Ito)

NAGOYA--Sales of halal food products prepared according to Islamic law have been brisk at a Lawson convenience store on the site of the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

The outlet put the products on shelves in mid-January and started deliveries in February to Muslims in custody at the bureau.

Last summer, supporters of a thirtysomething man held at the bureau complained that halal meals were inaccessible to Muslim detainees.

“Although we cannot provide halal meals at this point, ingredients are replaced based on requests from detainees who cannot consume specific items due to religious reasons or health problems,” a bureau official said.

The bureau has not revised its menu. But the private-sector store changed its offerings.

Yutaka Kotani, 48, owner of the convenience store, said he started considering stocking halal food last autumn.

He had been repeatedly asked by customers if pork or pork-derived ingredients were contained in certain products.

Kotani had also heard from an immigration bureau official that detained foreign nationals were asking for halal dishes.

Twenty halal products currently available at the Lawson store include packaged biryani seasoned rice, an instant noodle cup and cookies.

According to Kotani, snacks and sweets were primarily bought in January. But on the first day of its delivery service, more than 10 units of biryani were purchased.

Lawson later introduced more processed foodstuffs, including chicken curry, to cater to the needs of Muslims in custody.

“We will be pitching even more products from now on as sales are strong,” Kotani said.