The Daily Manila Shimbun


Bill enacted bill to fully allow “Minpaku” services

June 9, 2017

 Tokyo- The House of Councillors on Friday enacted a bill to fully allow the operations of "minpaku" private lodging services across Japan, where visitors from abroad are increasing.
The upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, adopted the bill to set rules on the minpaku services by a majority vote with support mainly from the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition and the main opposition Democratic Party.
The government hopes to implement the law in January 2018.
Minpaku services, which rent out private rooms as accommodation for tourists, have already started in many parts of the country, led by agents such as Airbnb Inc. of the United States.
The services can be operated in special deregulation zones and outside residential areas under the current legal framework.But operators need to pass strict requirements to obtain permission, which has caused the spread of services provided without permission.
In addition, some services have drawn complaints from neighbors because of noise and other problems caused by users.
Under the new law, the regional restrictions will be removed.
Meanwhile, operators will be obliged to give notices of the start of their services to prefectural or other local authorities, deal with complaints related to their services and put up signs that their premises provide minpaku services.
The operators will be allowed to do business for up to 180 days per year. But if necessary, local governments will be able to designate areas in which the annual limit is lowered, in order to deal with local problems such as deterioration in living environments.
Agents and managers of minpaku properties in which owners do not live will be obliged to register with the central government.
Violators of the new law may face up to one million yen in fines or up to six months of imprisonment.
The bill passed the House of Representative, the lower chamber, last week. (Jiji press)