Japan’s toilet chiefs say they have come up with a plan to stop tourists from getting their knickers in a twist over the country’s mind-bogglingly high-tech loos. 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 2020 Olympic Games.
The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association hopes that ensuring all toilets have standardized images will do the job, ensuring millions of non-Japanese speaking visitors will know the difference between a big flush and a small flush. Japan’s state-of-the-art toilets offer everything from seat warming and bidet functions to motion sensors, variable jet strengths and powerful deodorizers.
U.S. celebrities such as Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith have raved about the smart loos, which are a big hit among visiting tourists, particularly the Chinese.
There has been no standardized set of symbols for their many buttons, and different manufacturers often use their own images, representing something of a pain in the backside for unaccustomed users. Agence France-Presse