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Japanese toilet manufacturers agree on standardised icons

20 January 2017

The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, whose members include.

The organisation said (in Japanese) that it hoped its eight new pictograms would make things easier for non-Japanese speakers and create "a toilet environment that anyone can use with peace of mind".

The symbols will also be uncurled on modular devices that retrofit regular toilets.

Under new guidelines, manufacturers will use the same eight pictograms to tell users which button flushes, which one fires a frighteningly accurate jet of water at the backside and what to press to close the lid.

Japan has been drawing record numbers of tourists in recent years and Tokyo is expecting millions of visitors when it hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic Games in 2020.

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An association of Japanese toilet makers said Tuesday that they will unify pictograms on their toilets with warm-water shower units to help foreign visitors better understand the symbols and use the functions easily.

But now an industry group has chose to flush away this confusion that particularly bogs down foreign tourists by unifying the confusing symbols.

▼ Kitamura (below, centre) says one of the aims of the association is for the new symbols to be adopted as global standards.

As more foreigners choose Japan as a holiday destination, the country's toilet manufacturers have joined forces to simplify the sometimes complicated business of washing and drying Japanese style.

Japanese toilet manufacturers agree on standardised icons