Japan Legalises Shared Economy Rental Apps

The Japanese government has passed a new law that allows home-owners to let out property for half the year. Crucially, this means that tech companies such as Airbnb and other sharing economy rentals are now legalised in the country. Before the passing of the legislation, Airbnb called Japan one of its top 10 markets, with 5 million users in the country over the past 12 months, after generating more than 8 billion US dollars of “economic impact” last year. Airbnb, whose success in the country is now bound to improve, responded to the legalisation of its service by saying that it was “great news for the thousands of Japanese residents already hosting on Airbnb and provides much-needed clarity and certainty for locals who want to earn additional income by sharing their extra space with travellers from around the world”. The move takes the app out of what it called a “grey area” in the Japanese market, which it currently sits in in locations like New York, which recently banned short-term lettings.