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Airbnb finally becomes legit in Japan

New law removes 'gray zone' uncertainties from home sharing

Japan's new law gives Airbnb and its rivals firmer ground to operate in the country.

TOKYO -- The enactment of the minpaku home-sharing law in the Diet's upper house Friday removes the regulatory uncertainties surrounding renting private dwellings as temporary accommodations, possibly opening the door for dramatic growth of a new industry in Japan.

Minpaku, or the renting of private homes to tourists, was not illegal, but it was not fully above board, either. The new law will provide a framework for the new industry and help it achieve sound growth, Keiichi Ishii, the tourism minister, told reporters Friday.

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