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Private companies take initiative in Japan home-sharing practices

Airbnb helps homeowners heed rules; Keio showcases condo lodgings

The Japanese government wants to make it easier for individuals to rent out spare rooms to travelers.

TOKYO -- As the Japanese government seeks to open up more homes to paying customers looking for a place to lodge, the private sector is already busy carving out a place in the developing home-sharing economy.

Japan has led the world when it comes to innovative products, but the country has fallen behind dramatically in terms of soft sectors such as the sharing economy. Concerns are high that Japan will see its economic growth potential wane absent a rapid response to the changing landscape.

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