Japan's new law on minpaku (private lodging) businesses took effect Friday, but stringent rules may dampen the entry of homeowners into the market, despite hopes that it could help counter a shortage of accommodation amid a growing number of foreign tourists.

The new law enables private homes to be offered as accommodation for tourists only if the owners submit the necessary paperwork to prefectural governments or designated municipalities. Registrations can also be made online.

Previously, offering accommodation in private homes was allowed in Japan only under the Hotel Business Law, except for private lodging services in specially deregulated zones. The law requires property owners to obtain accommodation licenses.