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Japan working to convert squat toilets to Western-style

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Upgrading is one thing, and I applaud them for doing so, but they had better do a better job educating some of the tourists who come here that it's ok to flush the tp!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

As a person that just never got used to the "squat" style of toilet... Thank You! Japan already has extremely high grades for its public toilets... sure I know some people might like the "squat" style, but overall most will applaud phasing them out.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

 "I want the city of Nagoya to have the coolest toilets in the world," he said at a local assembly.

I figuratively LMAO.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

the toilet "Westernization" movement has been gaining momentum

What movement are we talking about?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

As a person that just never got used to the "squat" style of toilet... Thank You! Japan already has extremely high grades for its public toilets... sure I know some people might like the "squat" style, but overall most will applaud phasing them out.

Amen! But I hope that many of those public places also install washlets.

"I want the city of Nagoya to have the coolest toilets in the world," he said at a local assembly.

Ok, all jokes aside from this extremely funny statement, if you want the coolest toilets in the world, you're going to have to make sure that all of Nagoya is washlets only.

the toilet "Westernization" movement has been gaining momentum

So we can expect a Washlet Spring?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Truth be told, sometimes Japanese style toilets are more sanitary then western style toilets. The fact that you don't have to put any skin on them is a plus.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Kidas Dom

The problem is that in 2018 most people wear modern clothes.

If I squat down for a poo on one of these squatter toilets, you will literaly poo on your own pants.

I cannot get naked, take off my shoes, and all that just to go.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Let’s be honest, western toilets are above anything else, confortable.

Even Japan knows that, by applying technological functions enhancing the western-toilet experience.

I wonder if Japan has enhanced the squat-toilet experience yet?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If I squat down for a poo on one of these squatter toilets, you will literaly poo on your own pants

You will not, if you learn to use them correctly. Really, this isn't rocket science.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Don’t mind the squat actually and felt quite proud when mastered. Good for knee and hip flexibility and stomach muscles too. Prefer the warm seat with shower of course, but just saying, it was a proud moment. ;p

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Given the state of some of the squat toilets in Nagoya - given that it is a simple squat-and-release evacuation after all, nothing too difficult about it, they are often filthy - I don't trust people to be able to manage a public seated loo. I would rather they left them as squat, and just made sure there was enough toilet paper.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good news to start the week with.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

There we go! About time .....

..... maybe (finally) this is the one arrow Mr. Abe promised to improve .... the economy.

Seriously, I dislike those squat latrines! There is nothing better than a good dump while taking a rest on that warm seat!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Woo hoo!

To be fair, western style toilets aren't hard to find at all. But I think the days of the squat style maybe on its way out. Not always easy to adopt the position as you get older and your joints aren't what they used to be.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Never been a fan of the squat toilets and as many have explained they have been worried about soiling themselves, even though I know it is unlikely to happen. And while I applaud the gov't for tackling this issue, a cheaper and easier solution for now is to use those seats you can buy at any home center that just rests on top of the squater. By all means change as many as you can, but there is a cheaper solution at hand. I also this this will be a huge windfall for Toto and all the other major Japanese toilet makers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I honestly can not "go" on a squat type toilet without either: removing my pants and underpants, which takes a lot of time and can get messy OR soiling my own pants. Never got the hang of it :/

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The best thing about Japan is sushi and the second best thing is the Asian style squat toilets. The entire process of using an Asian style squat toilet requires more dexterity, nimbleness, muscularity and natural ability to use than the western lazy sit down toilets.

I have enjoyed so many happy hours squatting over my Asian style squat toilet that I can hardly imagine using the lazy Western sit style toilets.

I hope Japan realizes that Kimonos are best and that their Asian style squat toilets are also superior to any toilets used in the West.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I have often thought of trying to use a squat toilet, thinking that if millions of Japanese use them, they must be workable. To be honest, I look inside and sometimes it looks as if people may have messed up the area where your feet will go... I know it's only your shoes will go there, but still... so I'm wondering if I am seeing it right, or are the toilets just wet from being hosed out? Really interested to hear from pple who use them regularly and find them 'ok'. The thing I do like about Japanese men's toilets is the individual (usually porcelain) urinals, often with a degree of privacy built in or with small screens installed between. These are so much easier to use than the old style stainless steel 'wailing walls', where the euphemism 'splash your boots' originated, and usually fulfilled when using! :P Good to see many western countries now adopting individual porcelain urinals!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Truth be told, sometimes Japanese style toilets are more sanitary then western style toilets. The fact that you don't have to put any skin on them is a plus.

They're not so hygienic after Taro comes in after a binge at Coco Curry and sprays stuff all over the place. Not to mention that often there is paper stuck on the bowl, and it's questionable whether or not people use their hand or their dirty shoe to push the flush lever. For some reason the floor is usually wet in these cubicles...

I avoid them like the plague. They gross me out.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I agree with many posters, for some reason the squat toilets always seem to be so much dirtier. As mentioned they are always wet, and I have seen fecal matter all over the place with these. I also wonder as the population is aging, wouldn't sitting down be much easier and better for them? It must be very difficult for an 80 year old to squat for a long time with no support or anything!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

amid the influx of foreign tourists who are not familiar with the Japanese style.

I am sick to death of this. Either people are assuming most visitors to Japan are white, or people only want white tourists (I can guess which). The vast majority of visitors to Japan come from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Most of the rest come from South-east Asia. And the majority of these people will know what a squat toilet is, because, guess what, it's not Japanese-style because it exists all over Asia.

Just have both, as it is now. For the average person who does not have weak knees, squatting is actually better. Exercises your legs, it comes out much more easily and you don't touch the seat. But yes, I do agree, sometimes they just seem dirtier because stupid people don't bother to aim correctly.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Just have both, as it is now. For the average person who does not have weak knees, squatting is actually better. Exercises your legs, it comes out much more easily and you don't touch the seat. But yes, I do agree, sometimes they just seem dirtier because stupid people don't bother to aim correctly.

I say get rid of them, hassle, too dirty, don’t need, modernize.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Squat toilets are torture on the knees and quads for foreigners who haven’t spent a lifetime using them. When in a foreign country you have to adapt to the way they do things - but I am pretty happy that Japan is slowly phasing out the torture toilets.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Pukey2 - Point well made about the ethnicity of most tourists in Japan. However, my experience (visually only!) checking out the squat toilets in other Asian countries is not encouraging. While I have some 'doubts' about squat toilets in Japan, I have none about them in other Asian countries - Malaysia, China including Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam - all generally clearly revolting in most cases. Even the ones in Singapore have deteriorated in the last 10 years.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

On an urgent run to do business by my Pops on his visit to Tokyo, we rushed to the only toilet on the train platform. When he saw the white porcelain squatter with no TP, his face went white as a ghost,,, never forget that...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Judging by the squats always being the last one to be engaged I don't think the locals are that keen on them either.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I remember taking a shinkansen like train (old one but nonetheless for a standard commercial line at shinkansen speed) just a few years ago, and half the toilets were squat types. The most unbelievable blend between modernity and the past.

I thought I was riding lyself the shinkansen lol..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Their is so-called white privilege, but also white dignity. Maybe the latter is the reason many Westerners prefer the standard seated commode.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Squat toilets are more conducive to defecation and better for the body, but sorry, I'll take a Western-style toilet any day. I don't need a washlet, heater (nice in winter, though!), or any of the other fancy stuff that requires a remote control, but the squat toilets are often so dirty and disgusting I think it's more Japanese people that don't know how to use them than foreigners, and I often cringe to think what their pants look like when they're done.

In any case, as a point of order, squat toilets aren't "Japanese"; they exist across Asia. Sounds to me like this is another "Japan vs. West" thing, and "foreigners" they are trying to appeal to don't really include the majority, whom are Asian and have squat toilets or worse.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Judging by the squats always being the last one to be engaged I don't think the locals are that keen on them either.

Exactly. It's easier to just put it off as 'tourists don't know how to use them so we need to change them' as opposed to the truth being that the Japanese are not so keen on them themselves. How many houses have squat-toilets in them? 'Nuff said.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good for knee and hip flexibility and stomach muscles too

in my hospital, the internal medicine doctor totally disagrees with this. Also another doctor who treats patients with knee and hip problems also recommends changing toilets to western style. The head nurse recommends elderly use nappies/diapers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@smithinjapan: I think it's more Japanese people that don't know how to use them than foreigners, and I often cringe to think what their pants look like when they're done.

Right on. Seems a large proportion of the population have premature release of the brown bomber which then gets splattered at the rear edge of the orifice leading to horrific smells.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm an old stiffy. Can't squat to save myself. Avoid JP toilets unless I have no choice. Then it becomes a farce for me. A balancing act verging on the ridiculous. Especially if I'm wearing jeans. Like being a WWII bombardier in a bomber. Sometimes I miss the target. or worse...friendly fire!! yikes!

More western style please.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Sometimes I miss the target. or worse...friendly fire!! 

Mate TMI. Logical progression of what is happening in all new houses built these days.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Great move. I wonder if the modernisation process will extend to installing soap in public bogs? It should be a given in a self-styled developed country.

Had to pay a call in Ueno station yesterday. No soap. No excuse.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Soap Dispensers are pretty dry to be kept, lots and land of manhours to keep clean, checked if need to refill, and some people will walk out with a cup full of handsoap and a bogroll.

Big problem in parts of China.

Back home they have vending machines for soap in public toilets.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

25 years ago when we came to live in Japan, the western style was certainly less common and more difficult to locate but these days are more common than the squat style which are now impossible for my wife and I to use, due to age. We would go down but never get up again! We also search out the western style although sometimes both can be available.

When I first discovered the squat toilet on my first visit to France in the 1960's I thought someone had stolen the toilet.

Even seen the squat toilet on Japanese trains, moving rocking train, although there were handles too?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I never understood why so many new traditional toilets are installed. I can see some old building keeping them, but many times I'll visit a brand new department store or other establishment and see how squats have been installed. Like, is there any demand for these at all? The only time I'll use a squat is if I have to go really badly and have no other option.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't know how many JT readers are long-time residents of Japan, but when I was a child growing up in the '70s in Japan, many of the Western style toilets installed in homes and in public would have a sign attached / adjacent to the toilet with stick men pictures demonstrating proper use of the toilet with the seat up and down.

That was the 1970s. So, 40 years ago. Still amazes me how many Japanese style toilets exist 40 years later.

Now, however, I am seeing more and more public toilets with signs reminding users not to put anything other than toilet paper in them. Far too many people trying to dispose of diapers in them, I guess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@zones2surf "Now, however, I am seeing more and more public toilets with signs reminding users not to put anything other than toilet paper in them. Far too many people trying to dispose of diapers in them, I guess."

That's right! At my local park there is a strongly worded sign not to flush your dog doodoo down the toilet!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Reckless

That's right! At my local park there is a strongly worded sign not to flush your dog doodoo down the toilet!

LOL!! Really?? Wow. I mean, I would think that dog ふん would flush as easily as human, but.... well, maybe that is to avoid people flushing the proverbial plastic baggy or glove they used to pick it up!! :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bassfunk:

say get rid of them, hassle, too dirty, don’t need, modernize.

I'll admit I'm lazy sometimes, but if there's only a squat toilet, I'll use it. If people are too lazy or are the typical obese American, then at least have the good grace to admit it.

wolfpack:

Squat toilets are torture on the knees and quads for foreigners who haven’t spent a lifetime using them.

The elderly and physically handicapped get a pass, but I think others should just admit obesity puts a lot of pressure on the knees. I personally have never used them during the first 2 decades of my life, and I didn't have any problems using them for the first time.

It is not uncommon for some people in certain countries like China and Hong Kong to actually step onto the toilet pan when faced with a western-style toilet because they just don't want to put their backsides on the seat. I remember reading about dirty shoe prints on the pan. And in one case in Hong Kong, a woman injured herself when the toilet cracked and broke as she was squatting on top of the pan. And I am sure I have seen signs in Japan telling people not to squat on top of the them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gotta endorse the opinions of older readers here. Squat toilets (like seiza) are just no good if your knees are gone. (I'm far from obese, by the way). I used to use them in Greece when I was younger but these days, no way. My wife says she's seen aged Japanese ladies waiting for the Western-style toilets rather than use the available squats. And anyway, if squat-style is so popular with Japanese people, how come Japan leads the world in toilet technology?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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