Airbnb Inc. is finally getting the green light to do business in Japan after years of operating in gray areas of the law.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet approved rules on Friday limiting home-sharing by private citizens to 180 days a year, according to the final draft of the legislation. The bill, which also leaves room for local authorities to impose their own restrictions, is now submitted for deliberation and approval by the Diet.
Airbnb, which just closed a $1 billion funding round that valued the company at $31 billion, has found a more receptive audience in Japan, compared with the clashes it had with municipal governments in New York, Barcelona and its hometown of San Francisco. A tourism boom has cut into the supply of available hotel rooms and helped make the nation Airbnb's fastest-growing market. Overseas visitors will probably continue to set records as Japan prepares to host the World Rugby Cup in 2019 and the Olympic Games the following year.