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Rakuten, KDDI breaking into Japan's home-sharing market

Deregulation seen unleashing huge growth in the business

E-commerce giant Rakuten is one of the first wave of Japanese businesses to expand into the home-sharing business following recent deregulation.

TOKYO -- With Japan passing a new law that legalizes home-sharing, Rakuten and KDDI are among a host of companies entering a business that is rich with growth potential.

On June 9, the Diet passed a home-sharing law that allows private homes to be rented as lodging facilities. Under the new law, expected to take effect as early as January, anyone will be allowed to get into the business, known as minpaku in Japan, as long as the homeowner files the necessary papers with the prefectural government and the brokerage registers with the Japan Tourism Agency.

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