How do you measure a society’s wealth? Do you look at GDP, median income or the existence of a humane minimum wage? Any analyst worth their salt will say it’s all dependent on context. I’d argue, however, that the mark of a truly rich society is one with ample access to free public toilets (which deal with another kind of “gross domestic product”).

Consider this: Approximately 2 billion people around the world in 2020 lacked access to even basic sanitation facilities according to the World Health Organization. Even major cities in developed nations have dismal track records on the matter. Paris has roughly 20 public toilets per 100,000 residents (and millions of tourists); London has just shy of 14 per 100,000 residents; and New York trails behind with around 12 per 100,000 residents.

Tokyo, on the other hand, has 53 per 100,000 residents, and that’s before you factor in all the washrooms at train stations and convenience stores. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that bathroom access is one of the pillars of Tokyo’s reputation for convenience.