After battling legal issues in its home country and abroad for years, things are finally looking up for Airbnb—in Japan. Long operating under a grey area of the law, the home-sharing service went under review Friday, and may be soon approved for operations in the country with certain restrictions.
The proposed new legislation will take the 48,000 or so Japan-based Airbnb listings out of the shadows, and apply clearer rules as to how they are governed. The most significant change is the new limit on the number of days a property can be rented out. While no limits currently exist, the proposed maximum is a relatively lenient 180 days per year,,compared to 90 days in London and 60 in Amsterdam.
This is welcome news, as Japan is currently Airbnb's fastest-growing market in the world, thanks to its booming tourism industry. 2016 saw 24 million visitors to the island nation alone, with 35 million annual visitors anticipated by the year 2020. So far, about 3.7 million of those visitors have stayed with an Airbnb-operated room – and it looks like this number is only going to go up.
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