Accommodation providers are also required to register with their local authority, and absent landlords now need to outsource their property management to specialist companies. The laws are intended to bring consistency and improved standards to the previously unregulated sector, whilst allowing Japan to cope with a rising number of international visitors. Japan is one of Airbnb’s biggest markets in the Asia Pacific region, with more than 50,000 listings. Its main rival, Expedia-backed HomeAway, has fewer than 10,000 listings. But these two companies could soon face stiff competition; Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten recently announced plans to launch a home-sharing unit. Get the full story at Travel Daily Asia