"This stinks - and that's an understatement"

Airbnb has been forced to cancel thousands of bookings in Japan following new regulations enforced by the Japanese government.

Channel News Asia reports that new Japanese laws regulating short-term rentals has forced Airbnb to cancel thousands of bookings in the country.

Under the new lawhosts must register their listing and display their licence by 15 June. Any host without a licence had to cancel upcoming reservations that were booked before 15 June, even if they were seeking a licence.

Cancellations will affect bookings between 15 June and 19 June but these dates could be extended.

Airbnb has said it would fully refund all cancelled reservations and will create a US$10 million fund to fund compensated customers.

“This stinks – and that’s an understatement,” Airbnb said in a statement. “This is understandably frustrating, especially since many hosts are close to acquiring their licence.”

“It’s particularly disruptive for guests who have a trip to Japan planned for the weeks and months ahead.”

“Going forward, unless the government reverses its position, we will automatically cancel and fully refund any reservations at listings in Japan that have not been licensed within 10 days of guest arrival,” it added.