Business

JTA drafts rules for setting minpaku business holidays

JIJI

The Japan Tourism Agency is considering asking municipalities to designate periods during which minpaku (private lodging services) must be shut in their regions.

Municipalities would be free to set their own minpaku business holidays, according to the agency’s draft guidelines on the new type of lodging.

The agency plans to finalize the guidelines, seen Friday, by the end of March. The guidelines will encourage municipalities to set their own rules under ordinances designed to localize the suitability of minpaku services.

The draft guidelines gave examples of places and periods suitable for closure, such as areas near schools and nurseries on weekdays, and mountain settlements during the viewing season for autumn leaves and other periods of heavy traffic.

In June, Japan enacted a law to spell out the rules for operating minpaku services.

Under the law, to be implemented by next June, minpaku owners will only be allowed to do business up to 180 days per year.

It also allows prefectural and other governments to shorten that period in selected areas to prevent their environments from deteriorating.

Demand is high for minpaku services as Japan makes the most of its tourism boom. Meanwhile, concerns are mounting that such businesses may lead to noise, garbage and other problems for neighbors of minpaku operators.

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