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Japan just legalized Airbnb, but then tens of thousands of listings went dark

Japan just legalized Airbnb, but then tens of thousands of listings went dark
[Photo: Walkerssk/Pixabay]

Japan is implementing a new law that would make Airbnb legal in the country. The rules, which go into effect on June 15, would require hosts to obtain a license in order to use the platform. With these new regulations, the Wall Street Journal reports that “it has led to the loss of tens of thousands of listed offerings as well as canceled reservations.” This is because the Japanese government announced that on June 1 every host without a license would have to void every reservation made after the new regulation takes effect. Customers are reportedly discovering their previously confirmed listings being removed, and they are none-too-happy.

One Australian man traveling to Tokyo was very perturbed to find his reservation canceled. “We have to pay more for a less-satisfactory place,” he told the WSJ. “I don’t know if I will use Airbnb again. Coming to Japan is a challenge as it is.”

This isn’t the first time such a reaction happened to upcoming Airbnb regulation. San Francisco saw thousands of listings vanish in the lead-up to its own, similar regulation. Paris too is trying to crack down on illegal listings and is using new regulation to spur its enforcement.

Airbnb told the Journal in a statement that the company is “incredibly sorry. We know this stinks—and that’s an understatement.” It adds that it expects the number of listings in Japan to recover over time.

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