Tokyo's Ota Ward OKs 'minpaku' service for foreign tourists

posted on December 8, 2015

Tokyo's Ota Ward assembly adopted an ordinance on Monday that allows the so-called "minpaku" business of making vacant rooms at condominiums and other private homes available as accommodation for foreign tourists.

The ordinance covers tourist accommodation for stays of six nights or longer, in order not to put pressure on existing hotels. It is the second minpaku ordinance, following one that is scheduled to take effect in April next year in the western Japan prefecture of Osaka. Ahead of other areas in the country, Ota Ward plans to put the measure into effect at the end of January 2016.

The operating rate of hotels has always been high in the ward, which hosts Tokyo International Airport at Haneda.

By allowing the minpaku service, the ward will try to cope with expected surges in the number of foreign tourists toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The ordinance enables officials of the ward to make on-site inspections at minpaku facilities in order to prevent problems between users and local residents and to check safety and sanitation. Operators of such facilities will be required to inform nearby residents of their business plans in advance.

source by jiji
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