Japanese Toilet Industry to Simplify Controls for Confusing High-Tech Toilets

By Jesse Sokolow on 18 January 2017
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Japanese toilet makers have announced that they plan to begin using common and more easily understandable iconography on the products they produce.

The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, which includes companies such as Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba, announced that it will standardize the symbols it uses to convey instructions such as flush and dry on its toilets.

Most Japanese toilets, even in private homes, have multiple features including a heated seat, paperless wash and dry, sensors that perform various tasks including opening the lid when someone approaches, sound effects, and a bidet.

Japan’s two major airlines, ANA and JAL, have opted to install Toto Washlet technology toilets in the business-class lavs of many of their planes including the high-tech Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The move is meant to lessen confusion among users of the company’s products, in particular on the part of foreign tourists. Japan is currently preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, which are set to be held in Tokyo.

The new standardized list of images and their actions include: large flush, small flush, lift the lid, lift the seat, dryer, bidet, washer, and stop.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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