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VIPs at Osaka G20 to roost on opulent high-tech toilets

19 Comments

If you're headed for Osaka to take part in the G20 Summit scheduled for June 28 and 29, you'll be encountering strict security measures in the city's Suminoue Ward, especially around INTEX  Osaka, venue of the conference.

While the conference attendants ponder the world's economic fate, Weekly Playboy (July 1) chooses to focus on a different aspect of Osakan omotenashi (hospitality), specifically its sanitary facilities.

"At the time our city's hosting of G20 was decided, there were still 38 Japanese-style (washiki) toilets on the premises," a member of the city's Economic Strategy Bureau is quoted as saying. "We replaced 19 of these with Western-style commodes, and added another 16 toilets for women that were designed as multipurpose rooms. Half of them were supplied by Toto and half by Lixil."

No doubt, remarks the writer tongue-in-cheek, even President Donald Trump will be prompted to praise the host nation's efforts as a "Good job!"

The aforementioned bureaucrat added that Osaka Gov Hirofumi Yoshimura had specifically proposed, "Let's provide nice toilets to the people who come from around the world."

"When our plans were conveyed to private businesses and we sought contributions, those two companies came forward," he explained.

The result no doubt will be impressive enough to even elicit a grateful spasibo from Vladimir Putin.

One of the models in use will be Toto's "Public Compact" commode with a flush-type tank. Formerly, about 60 seconds waiting time was required between flushes. This model, however, can generate the next flush with a delay of just 20 seconds.

"This should be especially helpful in periods of peak demand, when ladies line up for the loo," said a company spokesperson. Another feature, he added, was the washlet "bidet" function that sprays water processed by electrolysis thereby supplying bacteria-free H2O from the nozzle, alleviating any sanitary concerns by users.

For its bidet apparatus Lixil has developed a device it calls a "ladies' nozzle." As the spokesperson explains, "These are by far the most advanced functions among models at public facilities. We have boosted ecological considerations so as to utilize only about half the volume of water used by previous types. For the ladies' restrooms we've installed a model with two separate nozzles for washing. The added feeling of cleanliness afforded by use of a second 'ladies' nozzle' has earned it rave reviews from users."

By parading out their top of the line models before the eyes of the world, Japan's two top ceramics makers clearly have hopes to promote export sales.

The sales manager at the toilet fixture  department at an appliance mass retail store told the magazine that in his experience, whenever a nearby commercial facility with modern facilities is opened, customer demand goes up at his store.

"It's a pity that average people can't enter the G20 venue yet because of the heightened security measures," he rued.

The manager notes that one feature shared by both Toto and Lixil is that the spray nozzle pressure from their commodes tends to be stronger than competitors. Some believe that the sensation from a stronger jet of water may be more pleasurable, making Lixil's model in particular more popular with women --- although its gender-neutral model is also said to be favored at country clubs patronized by middle-aged men.

"Toto models, on the other hand, are great because they enable control," the manager added. "And their spray halts instantaneously in response to the stop button.

"I can hardly wait to hear what praises presidents Trump and Putin will be singing to the world, after they use products by these two outstanding Japanese manufacturers!" he gushed.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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Great, another excuse to keep 45 on the "throne" longer....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When our plans were conveyed to private businesses and we sought contributions

Isn't that pretty much the textbook definition of bribery, or contract-rigging?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Isn't that pretty much the textbook definition of bribery, or contract-rigging?

I suppose some sort of quid pro quo was involved, such as allowing the suppliers to post their brand/logo is a visible spot and engage in PR activities. If you think about it, that's cheaper than buying commercials on TV or print media ad space.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there any visitor to Japan who hasn't experienced more than a few moments of panic when the opulent high-tech toilet they've just used in some public place doesn't appear to have anything like a recognizable flush button?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It looks like Japan is on course to host the first clag-free G20 conference.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump's going to need a crash course on the technology with those warm gentle little washlets, h! soooo gooood! He might not want get off after that?

The every first button is the power on/off. To stop anything press that one. the next button is the washlet to use, which saves on the paper. Don't stand up to view that because it turns into a fountain effect. Most of the other buttons you don't need to worry about. On the flush handle, forward for big flush, back for small.

If I ever leave I'm taking the toilet with me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well that's great and all but what about the cr@p that that comes out of their mouths?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is like an article from VIZ.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even the ancient Romans used sit-down toilets - with flowing water underneath instead of valve-controlled water - but there are still plenty of places in the world where squatting down over a hole in the floor is normal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump may not experience the full benefit of the washlet function due to his head being in the way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So a toilet that uses loads of electricity and water is the highlight? So much for that sustainability discussion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The problem with Japanese companies is arrogance, lack of marketing forsight, living on past glory and contention with the small home market. They think sales is guaranteed by using the catchphrase "Made in Japan" LIXIL doesn't even produce the washlet for the foreign market and TOTO has not bothered that much

to sell abroad, mainly in U.S. that it has some presence.

The chinese and Korean manufacturers will catch up with the Japanese in a technology the Japanese

developed and will outsell the Japanese globally and until that happens these two companies will continue to revel at home expecting the world to come to them for their marvellous product rather than them reaching out to the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Great toilets.....pity the houses they are in are freezing cold in Winter and boiling hot in Summer.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Great toilets.....pity the houses they are in are freezing cold in Winter and boiling hot in Summer.

The modern western style houses which we now live in a much better for the insulation although the windows are still single pane but with the sliding metal shutters which we close over night.

So a toilet that uses loads of electricity and water is the highlight? So much for that sustainability discussion.

The toilets don't use that much power. Compared with western toilets which only have a single flush while the Japanese have two. Also the cistern is smaller in size. You also use the inflowing water to wash your hands. Using less toilet paper because of the washlet is very much better for the oceans.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japanese toilets are really good. I miss them when I'm overseas.

One of the reasons Japanese have them and Westerners don't is that Japanese people are happy talking about poo (unko). It's hard to get momentum for new technology relating to something people don't want to talk about.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The western toilet or Clapper hasn't evolved that much over the last 100 years. The French had the floor toilet and a separate bidet.

In most houses they are part of the bathroom and not separate. I have never lived in a home which didn't have a separate toilet.

There's no central heating in Japanese toilets but there is in a western toilet/bathroom.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the reasons Japanese have them and Westerners don't is that Japanese people are happy talking about poo (unko).

I remember when the washlets first came out, the advertising slogan was お尻だって、洗って欲しい (Your bottom wants to be clean, too). It caused quite a few giggles at the time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One of the reasons Japanese have them and Westerners don't is that Japanese people are happy talking about poo (unko). It's hard to get momentum for new technology relating to something people don't want to talk about.

I agree. This is largely thanks to the fact that conversational Japanese does not rely on pronouns, or can easily adopt alternate terms. So discussions re poop and so on don't get overly personal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump is going to have a major problem.

He's comes out and says to a staff member,

"Just used the Kharsie and when I spoke the damn thing answered me back?"

"Is that an Apple serious thing?"

"No sir! that's a Japanese high tech loo!"

"Damn they stole the technology from us again!"

Tariffs on that one, for sure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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