Rakuten ties up with HomeAway

The new partner HomeAway is a major rival of Airbnb.

Its website lists more than two million properties including resorts in 190 countries.

Rakuten entered the rental platform business less than 2 weeks ago by teaming up with Japanese property website operator Lifull.

E-commerce giant Rakuten is linking up with a major US vacation rental platform. The move will support its new business in private rentals for tourists to Japan. (NHK)

The Japanese government has abolished taxes on online purchases of virtual currencies.

Sony Corp. said Thursday it will resume production of vinyl records for the first time in three decades this fiscal year as the format sees a resurgence in popularity. (Japan Times)

Farmers in Kagawa Prefecture, western Japan, have started shipping square watermelons across the country. (NHK)

Japan Tobacco Inc said on Wednesday it hoped to catch up with Philip Morris International Inc in smokeless tobacco by expanding the number of smoke-free restaurants and public places that allow its vaping product. (Japan Today)

A committee of Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, came up with a proposal on Tuesday calling for charging fees on households without television sets for watching TV programs distributed through the Internet simultaneously. (Jiji)

Japan’s home-sharing market is poised for a shift away from couch-surfing toward professional services after the passage of a law regulating short-term rentals. (bloomberg.com)

Japanese production of disposable diapers declined for the first time in 15 years in 2016, mainly due to weaker purchases from visiting Chinese tourists. (Nikkei)

Struggling Japanese airbag maker Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in a Tokyo court, following massive recalls of its products around the world. (NHK)

The head of Japanese airbag maker Takata says he will step down to take responsibility for the company’s failure. (NHK)

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