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OSAKA — As the market for toilet seats with warm water bidet functions continues to expand, manufacturers are competing to introduce new models with various designs and functions.

Toto Ltd., the largest market shareholder, has made its toilet seats available in 22 colors, including wine red and moss green. Toilets and tanks come in matching colors, which enables customers to coordinate the colors of their bathrooms. “More customers are concerned with the color of their toilets, and some even bring their floor or wallpaper samples to match the toilets and seats,” said Noriko Ishida at Toto’s Osaka showroom.

Electric appliance companies competing in the market challenge Toto with products that save energy and are easy for users to install. Water for the bidet is conventionally heated by electricity and stored in the tank. However, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. has introduced products that halve the amount of water used by mixing the bidet fountain with air bubbles and use a ceramic heater to warm the water instantly.

The cost of installing fixtures to toilets is about 10,000 yen, but the new products Mitsubishi and Aiwa Co. have introduced do not need special installation work. “They are really convenient for people who move a lot,” an Aiwa official said. Water is taken in from faucets, rather than directly from the pipes.


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