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Sharing Economy

Japan home-sharing law causes owners to exit market

Frustration grows over burdensome rules in long-awaited deregulation

A room in Tokyo's Ota Ward. Vacation rentals like these are closing their doors ahead of a new law taking effect this month.

TOKYO -- As Japan prepares to legalize home-sharing businesses this week, some people who currently rent out their homes are, in fact, seeing the long-awaited deregulation as a sign to exit the market.

A new law that allows home-sharing, called minpaku, takes effect on June 15. But, as of June 8, only about 3000 applications to register homes had been filed, far from the estimated tens of thousands of homes listed on Airbnb and other sites in Japan. What happened to the rest?

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