Symbols for toilet functions to be unified in Japan


An association of Japanese toilet makers will unify pictograms on toilets with bidet functions to help foreign visitors use them.

The nine companies in the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association said Tuesday they will use the same eight guide signs for the function buttons on their toilets.

The functions include opening and shutting the lid, washing and drying users’ bodies or stopping such actions, and flushing.

The unified signs will be used for toilets sold starting in April.

The association will also aim to have the symbols adopted as international standards.

Since toilets with bidet functions were launched in Japan in 1964, makers have adopted different symbols. Many foreigners have found them confusing, and so 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.