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Sharing Economy

Airbnb exodus spawns business boom in Japan

Shut out by new law, home-shares are quickly turning into meeting rooms

A screen grab of the website of Residence Tokyo, which offers to lease rooms from former home-sharers for renting out.
An Airbnb owner arranges a bed after guests checked out at an apartment which was used as Airbnb service in Tokyo.

TOKYO -- As Airbnb home-sharers in Japan quit the market in droves, following a new law that considerably increases red tape, their search for a smooth exit has brought a surge in new businesses.

One common option is to convert now-vacant properties into meeting rooms. Tokyo-based Spacee, which runs a booking site for conference rooms, has around 4,700 listings at present. The count has grown by roughly 10% month-over-month this year as the new regulations approached.

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