According to Bloomberg, Japan’s upper house passed a bill last week that lets private homes rent out space to paying guests — limiting total stays to 180 nights a year. The law requires providers of such accommodation to register with local governments and lets local authorities impose their own restrictions.
Airbnb Inc. will thus now be able to operate in Japan legally after the government passed a law that sets out rules for home sharing. It is more well-received in Japan, compared with the encounters it had with New York, Barcelona and San Francisco. A tourism boom has cut into Japan’s supply of available hotel rooms and helped make the nation Airbnb’s fastest-growing market. The number of visitors from overseas will probably continue to reach records as Japan prepares to host the World Rugby Cup in 2019 and the Olympic games the following year.
Japan’s home-sharing limits are relatively lenient, compared with 90 days in London and 60 days in Amsterdam. The new law also distinguishes between those who share their own dwellings and absentee landlords, anticipating that the latter are more likely to be a source of friction in neighborhoods.
For those hosts that decide to stick with it, the good news is that demand will only continue to grow. More than 24 million tourists visited Japan in 2016, topping the record for a fourth straight year, according to the nation’s tourism organization. Airbnb accommodated 3.7 million of those visitors, according to the company. The government aims to raise the number of visitors to 40 million by 2020.