Japanese toilets are set to become a lot easier to use and ‘tourist-friendly’
The confusing pictograms used in buttons in the bathrooms will be replaced with symbols that are used worldwide and easier to understand.
The sanitation industry in Japan has agreed to simplify pictograms in the country’s hi-tech toilets so users can follow them with ease. The decision was made to make Japan a more tourist-friendly destination before the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Nine firms under the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association will replace the complicated signs in bathrooms with the same eight symbols used worldwide to explain the buttons. It will create “a toilet environment that anyone can use with peace of mind”, the association said, according to BBC.
The eight symbols explain how to flush and open and close the lid as well as to activate the front and back cleanse and drying functions. “We are sure the new design of pictograms will help our products become more popular overseas as well as offer hospitality to foreigners and show that Japan is a country that welcomes tourists,” said Madoka Kitamura, head of the sanitation industry group, The Guardian reported.
The manufacturers made the decision after receiving multiple complaints from tourists that the pictures on the toilet buttons were confusing. According to a survey conducted in 2014, one-fourth of some 600 foreigners said they could not understand some of the symbols on the toilet buttons.
Japan had come up with a whole new set of pictograms on toilet buttons in the 1960s. Besides these, the country may also change a few other symbols that are considered either confusing or offensive.