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Published on : Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Tourism in Japan has grown since a few years and going by the surge the government has set up a panel to draw up new rules that would allow individuals to rent private accommodations to tourists. The use of private houses as lodging is highly anticipated as a measure that would solve the accommodation shortage. Most owners of such houses, however, apparently have no license to operate lodgings, meaning they would be in violation of the Hotel Business Law.
The Healty, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the Japan Tourism Agency expect the panel to discuss legal issues and compile a report in summer or autumn next year. Related ministries and agencies would then start laying a legal groundwork to permit the practice. The number of individuals renting private rooms to tourists has rapidly increased through agencies brokering such accommodations via the Internet. The government’s Regulatory Reform Council in June called for a review of the actual situation and to study how the government should regulate operations. Repeatedly providing private accommodations for a fee is considered a hotel business.
For such operations, owners of such facilities require permission from local governments, which ensure the hygiene and safety of an environment. According to the ministry, there were 193 cases of private houses and condominiums being rented to tourists without permission in fiscal 2013 and in fiscal 2014