This week, the Japanese government removed at least 62,000 homes, apartments and rooms from Airbnb’s inventory, reported Japan’s Nikkei newspaper.
This is in response to the country’s new home share – or minpaku – law that comes into effect on June 15.
The official statement from Airbnb, taken from Conde Nast, is that, “Any reservation scheduled for guest arrival between June 15 and June 19 at a listing in Japan that does not currently have a license has been cancelled”.
As a result of the removal of listings, this will leave visitors with fewer options for lodging over the busy summer tourist season.
July is the time when hotels are full for reservations, but because of the removal of Airbnb listings, hotels would likely be filled before July, according to Japantimes.
Initially, the government set June 15 as the deadline for rental properties to obtain proper government licensing in order to continue renting to guests.
But on 1 June, the Japan Tourism Agency suddenly announced that private lodging websites, of which Airbnb is one of such, would have to remove properties that do not have a license, as soon as is practicable.
This resulted in a lot of hosts who were undergoing or finalizing the registration process having to take down their listing.
As a result, some travellers who had fixed their travel plans now have to re-adjust accordingly.
Some are finding that they have no choice but to book a hotel room if there aren’t any available Airbnb units for them to sty in during the holiday.
Under the Minpaku law, homeowners will only be allowed to rent out their rooms for a maximum of 180 days a year, and they must keep a guest registry.
Illegal operators face a fine of up to 1m JPY if caught flouting the rules.