Airbnb prompts complaints among local residents

About 40 people have lodged a complaint with Naha City Office concerning “Airbnb” accommodation information website that allows house and condo owners to rent vacant rooms to travelers. The complaints were lodged over a period of one year from Oct. 2015 to Sep. 2016.

According to Naha City officials, in all cases the owners had provided the service without authorization. However, city officials could reach only nine of the owners and direct them to stop the activity. The situation came to light with Hiroaki Oshiro, the head of the Okinawa Prefecture Health Division answering to a question about the Airbnb from Eisaku Yara at the City Assembly on Sep. 27.

The complaints from residents mostly concerned the visitors failing to separate their trash and making too much noise at the building lobby. In some cases residents claimed to be afraid of having foreigners so close.

According to Naha City officials, about 300 accommodations in Naha City are registered on the Airbnb website, and most of them are unauthorized. Oshiro said that they would like to strengthen their ability to inspect and give guidance to owners in this kind of matter, and they might ask local police for help if needed.

The Health and Longevity Division of Okinawa Prefecture at 098-853-7963 can answer questions about Airbnb related matters and handles complaints about suspected illegal lodging.


02:59 23 Oct , 2016