Japan's new law on short-term lodging services was meant to ease a shortage of hotel rooms, bring order to an unregulated market, and offer more options for foreign visitors ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Instead, the law is likely to stifle Airbnb Inc. when it is enacted in June, along with other businesses based on vacation-rental websites, and force many homeowners to stop offering their services, renters and experts say.

The law on minpaku (private lodging services), the first national legal framework for short-term room rentals in Asia, limits provision of the services to 180 days a year — a cap some hosts say makes it difficult to turn a profit.