Japan has lifted a ban on private lodgings. The new legislation on “minpaku” rentals took effect on Friday.
The new law in principle allows anyone to rent rooms for up to 180 days a year upon registration with local governments. Those who operate or broker such lodgings without registering can be punished.
The exact number of privately owned lodgings in Japan is not known.
But about 60,000 could be found in Japan on the world’s leading private lodging intermediary website Airbnb as of March of this year.
Some municipal governments have implemented regulations to prevent disputes between guests and local residents and other problems. And many condominiums ban private lodgings.
Only about 2,700 hosts had filed applications with local governments as of Friday of last week.
On the same day, Airbnb canceled bookings at properties in Japan that had not been registered with the authorities, causing confusion among users of its service.
The Japanese government seeks to boost tourism in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and make full use of private lodgings to accommodate foreign visitors.
But it is not known how widely the system will propagate while many challenges remain.