Japan is facing a major problem with lack of lodging for foreign travelers. With a rising influx of tourists and foreign business travelers, hotels and inns are frequently oversold in Japan, and the problem is only getting worse. Japan’s cabinet has endorsed a bill that would help relieve the issue but may lead to other issues.
The new bill would allow property owners in Japan to rent homes or rooms to tourists for up to 6 months at a time. The only caveat would be that the property owner notifies their local municipality. These minpaku lodgings would operate specifically in residential areas and would be required to be clearly marked and maintained by property owners.
The major outcome for travelers if this bill passes through the Diet, is that businesses like Airbnb could begin wide-spread operation in Japan. Having a more diverse lodging industry is good for tourists, but it remains to be seen what the effects of this new wave of home-sharing would have on residential areas.
[Source: Japan Today]
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