Japanese Plumbing Manufacturers to Standardize Symbols on High-Tech Toilets​

The decision was made in response to foreign tourists who say they’re often unable to understand the controls, which operate features often not found on Western toilets such as bidets and warm air drying.

Toilets often confuse tourists; move will help as Japan prepares to host the 2020 Olympics.

The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, a consortium of companies producing plumbing products including Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba, has agreed to unify the iconography used on the often baffling control panels for Japanese toilets. The decision was made in response to foreign tourists who say they’re often unable to understand the controls, which operate features often not found on Western toilets such as bidets and warm air drying.

The toilet manufacturers plan to implement the eight new pictogram on models released from this year onward, with a view to the system becoming an international standard.

Much of Japan is currently engaged in a rush to make itself more welcoming to tourists ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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