Airbnb to offer one-stop support for rental hosts in Japan
Nikkei -- Feb 13
U.S.-based Airbnb will start a comprehensive support service for hosts in Japan in an effort to ensure a sufficient number of local listings amid an upcoming regulatory change and growing competition.

A new company under Airbnb partner Evolable Asia will serve landlords who want to outsource holiday rentals on the Airbnb platform. By working with about 15 businesses, this new company will handle everything from regulatory filings and furnishings to cleaning and guest support on behalf of property owners.

For instance, administrative scriveners will be available to file the proper paperwork. A Tokyo Tatemono subsidiary will clean the properties and supply fresh linens. To make the rentals more attractive, Bic Camera will help deliver electronics and furniture, while SoftBank Group will provide communications services like Wi-Fi for guests. A call center will be set up to field complaints and insurance will be provided.

Japan will relax regulations on home rentals, known here as minpaku, in June, but the new legal framework requires hosts to register their properties with local authorities and provide adequate services, such as regular cleaning and a customer service hotline for guests.

Airbnb plans to remove noncompliant listings from its website by the time the new law is implemented. The company aims to grow its listings by enabling property owners to get into the home rental business easily.

News source: Nikkei
Feb 19
Immigration Bureau's relaxed visa policy has boosted tourism from southeast Asia, but it seems to have come with an unwanted side-effect. (soranews24.com)
Feb 19
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not saying whether or not he nominated Donald Trump for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but the question may be moot: the U.S. president has been put forward by others for the prestigious award. (Japan Today)
Feb 19
Police on Monday arrested a truck driver for allegedly driving off with a man clinging to the side of his vehicle following a road rage incident in Miyagi Prefecture last June. (Japan Times)
Feb 19
The health ministry on Monday approved the world's first clinical test in which artificially derived stem cells will be used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries. (Japan Times)
Feb 19
Visitors to a village near Mount Fuji and its residents were rewarded with a dazzling spectacle on Monday. (NHK)
Feb 19
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 41-year-old man who while drunk is suspected of gashing more than one dozen luxury automobiles in Ota Ward last month, reports Nippon News Network (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 19
Ibaraki Prefectural Police believe a male temporary employee at a research center for industrial machinery manufacturer Kubota Corp. stabbed another employee before slashing himself on Sunday, reports TV Asahi (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 18
A movie by the Japanese director Hikari picked up two awards at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday. "37 Seconds" won the Panorama Audience Award and the CICAE Art Cinema Award. (NHK)
Feb 18
A 43-year-old employee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has been arrested for allegedly using his smartphone to film up the skirt of a high school girl on a train. (Japan Today)
Feb 18
People are enjoying the first signs of spring at an annual plum flower festival at the Kairakuen garden in Mito City, north of Tokyo. (NHK)