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Japan begins licensing the sharing economy

Public-private effort seeks to expand and regulate emerging sector

A condominium room available for rent in Tokyo's Ota Ward.

TOKYO -- A licensing regime governing Japan's sharing economy is going into effect this month as the public and private sectors band together to foster a nascent industry.

The sharing economy runs the gamut from ride-hailing to private home rentals -- the latter known in Japan as minpaku. These businesses are expected to become a growth sector, especially considering the demand from foreign tourists streaming into Japan.

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