Asia

'Smartphone toilet paper' at Tokyo airport

NTT Docomo Image copyright NTT Docomo
Image caption The firm points to research showing there are more germs on your phone screen than on a toilet seat

Don't forget to wipe before you swipe the next time you are at Tokyo's Narita International Airport.

Toilets at the airport have been equipped with "toilet paper" that you can use to disinfect your smartphone.

Paid for by Japanese mobile giant NTT Docomo, the sheets also include information about the firm's public Wi-Fi networks as well as details about its smartphone travel app.

Social media users have reacted to the move with humour and disbelief.

The bizarre dispensers have been installed in seven restrooms and will remain in place until March next year, local media cited NTT Docomo as saying.


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Japan is globally renowned for revolutionising its public toilets, many of which are clean, modern and boast very elaborate high-tech features.

"There are more than five times of germs on a smartphone screen as compared to a toilet seat," NTT Docomo said in a post on its official YouTube page.

It added that the special cleaning rolls were "made to clean screens so foreign tourists could enjoy their travel hygienically".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption "Trust the Japanese to think of something so clever," said one user

In true Japanese fashion, a quirky two-minute instructional video demonstrated how to correctly use the sheets, and also the "shower" or bidet function found in most public toilets in the country.

'Welcome to Japan'

News of the smartphone toilet paper spread rapidly among Facebook users.

"Give your smartphone a wipe while you answer the call of nature," commented Roger Chen in Singapore.

"What if you're tired and jetlagged and accidentally mix up the smartphone toilet paper with the regular roll," asked another user.

Others like Gale Gayol welcomed the move.

"I need this. I have the habit of wiping my smartphone with tissue and alcohol every night after work," she said in a Facebook post.

"Don't laugh. Your own toilet experience will always be crappy compared to this," said Mike Putro. "Trust the Japanese to think of something so clever."

"Welcome [to] Japan, where [the] way things are designed is pretty amazing in the sense that they seem to have thought of everything," said another user.

"Even things that you didn't think you needed suddenly become items you just can't live without."

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