Pictograms on how to use Japanese electric toilets have been registered as a global standard, the government said Monday, in a step aimed at making such signs more familiar to the growing number of foreign tourists visiting the country.

Six kinds of pictograms -- showing instructions on which buttons to press when operating a high-tech Japanese toilets -- have been recognized by the International Organization for Standardization, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The pictograms, designed by a Japanese industrial body of toilet makers, include those for "strong flush," "bidet" and "raise/lower the lid."

(Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association)


As use of high-tech Japanese toilets is becoming increasingly popular overseas, industry experts hope that now the Japan-proposed pictograms have become a global standard, domestic manufacturers of such toilets with water spray functions will be able to enter overseas markets.

In line with the international standard, the ministry will also modify the Japanese Industrial Standards for the pictograms within this year.