‘Minpaku’ homestay businesses in owner-occupied houses to be allowed without permission


The government plans to allow minpaku (private stay) accommodations without permission from local authorities in the future if owner-occupied houses, rather than vacant houses or apartments, are used, it has been learned.

The government believes safety controls for guests will be easier for such homestay-type businesses.

The plan, submitted by the health ministry and the tourism agency, was broadly approved at a meeting Tuesday by a study group chaired by University of Tokyo Prof. Yasushi Asami.

The panel has already backed both the classification of minpaku facilities as simplified hotels under the hotel business law and the policy of requiring permission to run such facilities, which have become an issue due to the need to accommodate the growing number of foreign tourists.

But homestay-type minpaku businesses will be exempted from the policy in the future if they meet certain conditions.

On the government side, issues cited at the panel meeting that officials say still need to be tackled are how to prevent minpaku facilities from causing trouble with neighborhood residents, on-site inspections of facilities, and the penalties to be levied on operators who break laws.

The study group is expected to report its decision as early as June.