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Marriott International Inc. has no plans to operate a private lodging service in Japan for the time being due to strict regulations, Rajeev Menon, a senior official of the U.S. hotel chain, said in a recent interview.

Although there is demand for such a service, “we believe we are not ready,” Menon, Marriott’s president of Asia-Pacific operations excluding China and Taiwan, said Wednesday. “Japan has some specific law to curb using private lodging as business logic,” he said.

The company handles some 5,000 properties in its private lodging services for wealthy people in the United States and Europe.

Marriott aims to focus its Japan operations on the hotel business, Menon said. The company plans to open some 50 new hotels in Japan over the next five years, including a new Ritz-Carlton hotel in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, set to open in May.

Menon added, “We don’t see a big impact” from the new coronavirus outbreak. Marriott is currently putting a priority on protecting its employees and hotel guests from the virus, he said.

At the 94-room Ritz-Carlton in Nikko, a hot spring facility has been built for the first time under the brand. Programs to introduce aspects of nature and traditional culture will also be prepared to offer special experiences unique to the locality, another Marriott official said.

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