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Japan’s home-sharing law gives HomeAway opening in Airbnb fight

Japan’s home-sharing market is poised for a shift away from couch-surfing toward professional services after the passage of a law regulating short-term rentals. The change will help HomeAway play to its strengths in the battle against Airbnb Inc., according to Natsuko Kimura, country manager for Expedia Inc.’s home-rental subsidiary.

The bill enacted earlier this month lets people in Japan rent out property without the risk of running into regulatory hurdles. The law limits total stays to 180 nights a year and requires that accommodation providers register with local governments. The regulations also increase oversight of absentee landlords, requiring owners to outsource property management to parties capable of guaranteeing safety and hygiene.

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