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Airbnb hopes to make rules simpler for home-rental services in Japan

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The stricter rules, requiring property owners in Japan to register with local municipalities to rent out vacant homes or rooms to tourists and limiting their rental to 180 days per year, have stirred concerns that home owners may be discouraged from entering the market.

i imagine these laws have been implemented in response to locals complaining about the number of foreigners circulating around their once homogenous neighborhoods.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Sounds like the govt should have thought things through in their rush to attract tourists income:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/15/tourism-pollution-backlash-japan-crackdown-costs-airbnb-10m-kyoto

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I, for one, welcome these laws.

The last thing Japan needs is to go down the investment property route.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Good luck with that AirBNB. The recent law changes by the Japanese government have shown just how stubbornly they are prepared to keep up their protectionistic practices in favor of the hotel industry.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If softbank were doing this there would be no problem. Government doesn't like outside business telling them what to do.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The main concerns people have are seeing strangers (foreigners) in their building or neighbourhood, and guests not sorting trash properly. Dealing with the trash is another opportunity for new service providers. Maybe convenience stores can play a role in this. As for seeing strangers/foreigners in the building, is that such a big deal? I don't know, it seems that all the grievances can be properly dealt with, somehow (trash, fire safety, etc..). If so, and Japanese people see this as a good investment/business opportunity, things will turn around for airbnb.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

He said 17 percent of foreign visitors to Japan already book their accommodation through Airbnb

This is a complete lie. There is no way it is that high. 17% of Americans perhaps, or independent travellers, both of which are small components of the total.

Out of the total, with all the Asians on short package trips included, It'll be more like 1.7%. For all the noise it is making, Airbnb in Japan is not such a big player. Do not let them fool you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do the hustleToday  09:22 am JST

Good luck with that AirBNB. The recent law changes by the Japanese government have shown just how stubbornly they are prepared to keep up their protectionistic practices in favor of the hotel industry.

its not protectionist practices. Hotels have safety standards they have to follow and these standards are set for a reason. To protect the consumers and people working in the industry.

Japan is a natural disaster prone country. What if a earthquake hits and guests have no idea how to evacuate because it is not clearly marked like they are in the hotel room? What if there was a fire while cooking in the kitchen but the guests have no idea what the emergency number is? Or what if they dont even have a phone because they are just visiting Japan?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good, about time Airbnb got with the program.

Follow the rules, as simple as that. Why is that such a hard thing for some to understand? This is hardly unique to Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Gogo

sadly I think you are largely correct, have seen this many times, Motorola with mobile phones in the 90s, then later with BlackBerry phones, PCs that didn't communicate with other languages, etc etc

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@the lonius

The main concerns people have are seeing strangers (foreigners) in their building or neighbourhood, and guests not sorting trash properly.

I can understand the "stranger" element but this thinking that foreigners are some kind of threat to them has no justification whatsoever.

I do agree with the trash comment but my neighbours are just as guilty as everyone else.

Nothing wrong with travelling on a budget and trying to save a few $$$ here and there.

Airbnb makes sense.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

zichi

Tourist spots are over-crowded in Japan. What is the point of increasing the number of tourists, rather than tourist spending? The first step in marketing is to target the customer. The new law that allows substandard accommodation is strategically misdirected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Airbnb makes sense.

And that is half of its failing in Japan. The other half is that it doesn't funnel enough money into toward the establishment.

Let's face it, any grievances with AirBNB that have been raised here could easily be dealt with. Safety? Sure, have mandatory checks/guidelines. That said, how many incidents have happened in these private dwellings to date? And how many in dwellings that are zoned as commercial (think; love hotels) in the same time period? Safety? Pffft. I've stayed in AirBnB dwellings that are far safer than some hotels I have stayed in.

If it were about zoning and safety, why are home-owners still able to do it for up to 180 days/year?

This is about protectionism and cronyism more than anything else. Nothing new in Japan.

Further, there is already a shortage of accommodation here. Try getting a room in Kyoto during the peak season. Let's hope you don't have an important and/or mandatory event to attend during that time. Again, the government here cuts of its nose despite its face and freedom of ... well... anything is tossed right out the window.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

CH3CHO

I disagree with your opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have to agree with zichi. As will business owners at these spots!

Folk who can afford to travel to Japan may want to save money on hotels so they can spend more on other things. That's gotta be got for the local economy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CH3CHO

zichi

Tourist spots are over-crowded in Japan. What is the point of increasing the number of tourists, rather than tourist spending? The first step in marketing is to target the customer. The new law that allows substandard accommodation is strategically misdirected.

Are these what you call substandard? Some Airbnb are for women only so they may feel safer than staying in a hotel. There are many seedy hotels with dirty carpets dirty mattresses

https://www.airbnb.com/s/Tokyo--Japan

70% of the tourists visiting Kyoto are domestic but all tourism generates ¥1 trillion for the city.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some AirBnB are far from tourist spots and hotels, too. They serve an important function.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"make rules simpler in Japan". Good luck with that - it would be a first...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The main concerns people have are seeing strangers (foreigners) in their building or neighbourhood, and guests not sorting trash properly. 

I think it depends on the place. My Japanese neighbors are fine with me and a few other foreigners living in the same apartment building. They just do not want unregistered people (be they foreigners or Japanese) to come and go care-free and oblivious of the fact that people want quiet in their building. Safety is a concern, too, as non-registered individuals (the nationality does not seem to matter) come and go as they please all the time. Registration and safety regulations are a good thing no matter what some may say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some Airbnb are for women only so they may feel safer than staying in a hotel.

That's an interesting point because one of the cornerstones of the Japanese Inns and Hotels Act is non-discrimination. Article 5 specifies that you cannot be refused service on any grounds other than having an infectious disease or the likelihood that you are planning something illegal or immoral. Refusing someone a room based on their gender is strictly illegal. As is refusing a room on the basis of race, ethnicity, etc, which is something that AirBnB hosts have been accused of in the past. (And before someone mentions it; yes, there are female only capsule hotels because they are not classed as real hotels).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If softbank were doing this there would be no problem. Government doesn't like outside business telling them what to do.

Incorrect. Several large JP net commerce companies are starting up Minpaku referral sites, including online juggernaut Rakuten. They all have to follow the same rules.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AgentXToday  12:00 pm JST

This is about protectionism and cronyism more than anything else. Nothing new in Japan.

What if Shreraton, Okura, Hilton all just said, "we are going to de-register our company and turn the rooms into a ""minpaku." How do you define minpaku? There is no reason why hotels should be held to a higher standard than Airbnb rooms.

The 180 day/year limit was set to distinguish minpaku and hotels. If its under 180 days a year, then there is less regulation and rules to comply to. If you dont want the 180day limit, then comply with the rules and safety standards hotels comply to, for the sake of everyones safety. The new law makes perfect sense.

If you look google, there have been many incidents occuring on airbnb. its only been around for few years and sooner or later, there will be a big accident or incident if no airbnb go unregulated

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I bought a property (in the UK) 16 years ago and have rented it out, privately and through an agency.In that time, my vacant periods have been about 7 weeks.

I thought to do similar as minpaku in Japan but the 180 day rule means half a year of lost income.

Again, arbitrarily making such limits on business mean I will never invest any sizable amount of money here.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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