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Symbols for toilet functions in Japan to be unified

January 24, 2017

Symbols for toilet functions in Japan to be unified

Symbols for toilet functions in Japan to be unified

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.

The nine member companies of the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association will use the same eight guide signs for the buttons on their toilets that indicate functions to be activated when they are pressed. The functions include opening and shutting the toilet covers, washing and drying users’ bodies, flushing the toilet, and stopping such motions.

The unified signs will be used for toilets going on sale from April this year. The association will also aim to have the new symbols adopted as international standards.

While toilets with warm-water shower functions were launched in Japan in 1964, makers have adopted different symbols. As foreigners found them confusing, however, the companies decided to unify their pictograms.

“We hope to welcome foreign tourists with clean toilets and spread them to the world,” said Madoka Kitamura, head of the industry group and president of Toto Ltd., one of the nine member firms.

Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun

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