Using a robot toilet in Japan is about to get a lot easier

Japan is attempting to drop iconography confusing to tourists ahead of the 2020 Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup.

This means updating their toilets with the above images, as tourists commonly complain that these are hard to decipher.

Clockwise in the top image, they mean:

  • large flush
  • small flush
  • raise the lid
  • raise the seat
  • dry
  • bidet
  • rear spray
  • stop

The government has also recommended removing the Buddhist 'manji' symbol from maps for foreigners, which have been used to denote Buddhist Temples.

This is due to the likeness it bears to the swastika upon the flag of Nazi Germany.

In a report, the Japanese Geospatial Information Authority wrote:

Japan needs to create an environment where foreign visitors can easily use transport and find accommodation.

For that purpose, it is especially important to disseminate multilingual maps that are easy for foreigners to understand.

Some pointed out that the swastika held more palatable connotations prior to nazism, and may therefore be understandable to informed travellers.

Takayuki Nakamura, a GSI official, told the Japan Times:

Some say we should change symbols for Japanese-language maps at this opportunity, while others say the traditional symbols should stay. Either way, it will take a while before any changes are made, as we need to coordinate with related government agencies.

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