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Airbnb finds home in Japan after passage of home-sharing law

Airbnb Inc. found a home in Japan after a legislative bill was passed June 9 allowing private home owners to rent out space to paying guests for up to a total stay of 180 nights a year, Bloomberg News reported.

The new law also requires private home owners to register with local governments, which are expected to impose their own restrictions, according to the June 9 report. In addition, the law distinguishes between those who share their own homes and "absentee landlords." The report noted, citing Airdna, a company that sells consulting services to hosts, Airbnb has 52,000 listings in Japan, about 70% of which are for entire homes.

Airbnb is also in talks with "multiple" providers, which will offer services to the company's hosts and guests, the report added, citing Yasuyuki Tanabe, Airbnb’s country manager for Japan.

Bloomberg said this is in contrast with the case in New York, Barcelona and Airbnb's hometown of San Francisco, where the company clashed with municipal governments.

The company's foray into the Japanese market follows a tourism boom in Japan, which has decreased the country's supply of available hotel rooms. According to the report, more than 24 million tourists visited Japan in 2016, which topped the record for a fourth straight year, and the number is still expected to grow. Airbnb accommodated 3.7 million of those visitors, the report noted, citing the company.