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Japanese Toilet Makers Agree to Simplify Control Buttons for Confused Foreigners

The king and queen of the Netherlands observe a Japanese toilet. Photo: AP
The king and queen of the Netherlands observe a Japanese toilet. Photo: AP

On Tuesday, the Japan Restroom Industry Association announced that it had developed a new set of control panel illustrations for multifunctional “super toilets,” standardizing the symbols for the benefit of foreign visitors.

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“Until now, manufacturers have adopted pictograms that seem to be optimal,” wrote the association in a press release, “but when foreign tourists use public toilets such as at hotels and sightseeing facilities, it is difficult to understand the operation buttons.”

Photo: Japan Restroom Industry Association
Photo: Japan Restroom Industry Association
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Under the new guidelines, future Japanese bidet toilets will use eight symbols corresponding to eight basic operations: “lid opening/closing,” “seat opening/closing,” “flushing (large),” “flushing (small),” “anus cleaning,” “vulva cleaning,” “drying” and “stop.”

According to a 2014 survey, “I did not know how to use a Japanese-style toilet” and “I did not understand the role of various operation buttons” were the top complaints by tourists about Japanese toilets, both representing over 25 percent of responses. Alarmingly, “I pressed the emergency button” was similarly common, expressed by 8.8 percent of foreigners.

The association says the new pictograms will help accomplish its stated mission of “communicating the clean toilet culture to people all over the world” and hopefully create “a toilet environment that anyone can use with peace of mind.”

[The Verge]

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DISCUSSION

Under the new guidelines, future Japanese bidet toilets will use eight symbols corresponding to eight basic operations: “lid opening/closing,” “seat opening/closing,” “flushing (large),” “flushing (small),” “anus cleaning,” “vulva cleaning,” “drying” and “stop.”

I am irrationally angry that you did not make your list in the order of the picture that was right above it...