My issue should actually be an Airbnb issue OR japanese government issue not really mine. But from some reason I can’t see that Airbnb japan or the Japanese government is actually trying to solve it
So I just want to make sure that they are all aware of what’s really going on…
back in 2010, the Japanese economy was in a deep recession, on the verge of collapse. The Real estate section -which influence the rest of the economy- was in a very bad shape. There were close to 15% of apartments in central Tokyo standing unoccupied. Those that were rented out were rented out for record low rent prices. Apartments value were almost as half as what they should have been.
The real estate market was dead, there were no buyers and for a good reason. The rental yield was very low and Japanese apartments were actually losing value over the years. It became a very bad investment. And when the real estate market is dead -in addition to exports which were overtaken by china and South Korea- the whole economy is down.
At this point, few positive things happened to the Japanese economy in general and to the real estate market In particular.
1- Prime minister Shinzo Abe san has been elected and immediately decided to promote tourism by lowering the Japanese yen and ease the tourist visa restrictions.
2- Tokyo been selected to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
3- Airbnb- Big Part of the reason that previously Japan tourism sector was not doing well is the low value for money offered by local hotels and lodging. Those, not only did not understand foreign travelers needs very well (most of tourisim back then were from locals so the hotels services targeted the local market not the foreign market), but were also very expensive with low supply.
Airbnb changed all that. Now it was more affordable and possible for foreign travelers to stay at a better value accommodation. With hosts that actually underatand them.
Those 3 factors boost the tourism industry and the 3rd factor of Airbnb also boost Real estate investment and therefore the rest of the economy. Economy is now flourishing and real estate is at over 20 years high records.
Unlike Berlin and few other European cities. Where Airbnb did not really boost tourism but just pushed real estate prices high and may have caused some difficulties in the economy. In japan it worked miracles on the economy.
Seeing the positive influence of Airbnb on tourism and the economy as a whole, the Japanese government recently completely legalized Airbnb and short term rentals. However this “legalization” is actually have no meaning, it will never work in practice. Bldg management in almost 99% of the bldgs in the central part of the big cities are actively operating against it. Interrupting the guests, bothering the apartment owners/host and manipulating other tenants in the Bldg to “pass a bldg rules” which forbbid Airbnb and alike in the bldgs. Unfortunately, most Japanese apartments owners are quiet easy to manipulate for the sake of “their fellow neigbours and potential terrosist threat” so the so called “Bldg rules” always pass.
So even that now it is 100% legal o host in japan, and even if you are the owner of the apartment or act on his behalf, even then, the bldg management will try to stop you. Or at least interrupt you and sometimes your guests on an ongoing basis.
The absurd is, that bldg managements in japan are highly involved in the hotel industry. Some of them even owing hotels directly, so basically what they are doing is to abuse their power in order to pass rules in their own personal agendas.
So as you can see, Airbnb in japan is a bit different from other countries. The government supporting it, it is good for the economy and it is deifinteky good for apartment owners, hosts and guests. But still it is almost impossible to operate a place without interruption and conflicts with bldg managements. Especially in central locations where travelers usually want to stay.
The reason I am writing all this is to ask if Airbnb japan having any intention to fight this issue? Because from my feeling and many other host feeling right now, they just decided to cooperate with the bldg management companies instead of with the hosts.
The other question is. Does Airbnb headquarter is aware about all this situation?