Japanese electric toilet symbols go global

Japanese electric toilet pictograms Image copyright Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association
Image caption (Left to right) Flush, light flush, back wash, front wash, close lid, lift seat

Six pictograms, including one illustrating a stylised bottom, have been accepted as the global standard for the use of electric toilets.

Japan's Kyodo News Service says that the six illustrations have been accepted by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, to show users which buttons to press when operating high-tech Japanese toilets and bidets.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry says it's aimed at making life less daunting for tourists visiting the country, especially given the rush of visitors expected for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association devised the symbols last year after manufacturers agreed to use the same images on all of their products, and they've now declared that "anyone can use an electric toilet with confidence".

They also hope that the standard symbols will help sales of the high-tech toilets, complete with their hot-water flushes and self-closing lids, around the world.

Image copyright Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association
Image caption Press Isotype ISO7000-3611 for a rear wash

Reporting by Alistair Coleman

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