Airbnb Inc. has welcomed stricter minpaku (private lodging services) laws and reinforced its commitment to the Japanese market with tiny new initiatives.
“Tokyo homes still have a lot of space that can be utilised,” Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of the San Francisco-based room-sharing giant, said Friday at a Tokyo news conference in Shibuya.
Among the new initiatives is a service called Airbnb Closets, which lists only “high standard” closets in homes in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.
It also plans to expand services for Airbnb hosts in more regions to help them receive counselling after having foreign guests.
“We are committed to helping the country maximize its potential as a travel destination using every last fragment of space we can find,” Blecharczyk said.
The company has been grappling with a cancellation issue sparked by the delisting of minpaku operators because the government feared there would be too many foreigners in residential areas.
“Without proper monitoring, we would see an increase in noise, crime, and a lot of non-burnable garbage being disposed as burnables,” said Yuji Nakamoto from the Japan Tourism Agency.