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Politics

Home sharing can boost more than tourism in Japan

Legalization could bring life to vacant homes and lift construction sector

| Japan
A house in Tokyo's Ota Ward, which has begun experimenting with home-sharing.

Home-sharing services such as Airbnb are illegal in Japan, except in Osaka and Ota Ward of Tokyo. A move is now afoot to change the law and advocates should persevere as such services could provide a needed support to the country's growing tourism sector ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Japanese cabinet endorsed a proposed bill to legalize home sharing on March 10, but the outlook for parliamentary approval is not yet clear. As drafted, the bill would allow residential rentals nationally for up to 180 days per year.

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