Here’s Why You Might Have A Tough Time Finding An Airbnb In Japan
By Mitti Hicks
Countless travelers who planned to use home-sharing services like Airbnb during recent trips to Japan were met with cancellations by the hosts this summer, and new laws designed to regulate short-term rental businesses are the reason why.
In 2017, Japan’s parliament passed the “Home-Sharing Business Act,” which allowed people to rent out their homes to tourists for profits, but like many countries around the world, Japan is tightening-up on the legislation previously passed due to the number of people engaging in business without permits.
A new bill that went into effect on June 1st now requires hosts to register their listings with the Japanese government, obtain a permit, and report the number of days that guests are occupying the residence. According to the Law Library of Congress, home-sharing business operators can rent out their homes for a total of 180 days per year.
“Unfortunately, the Japanese government issued a sudden announcement on June 1st instructing any host without a license number to cancel upcoming reservations that were booked before June 15. As a result, any reservation scheduled for guest arrival between June 15th and June 19th at a listing in Japan that does not currently have a license has been canceled.”
In response to the new bill, Airbnb issued a full refund to guests with reservations at non-compliant listings in Japan. Airbnb has also launched a multi-million dollar marketing campaign in Japan to support, educate, and recruit more hosts.
Despite the government’s decision, Airbnb staff said they remain optimistic in welcoming more guests to Japan, and recruiting more hosts within the communities. “We believe the new rules will ultimately be a positive change for Airbnb and our Japancommunity,” said Jake Wilczynski, head of public affairs communications APAC with Airbnb. “There will undoubtedly be a period of adjustment, but ultimately, clear rules and regulations for home sharing will make our community.