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Only 35.8% of toilets at high schools are Western-style: survey


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This paradox of arguably the most advanced tech country on the planet sticking to the same old squat toilets always had me perplexed.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Nothing is more disheartening and disappointing ahead of a relaxing sit down than being greeted by a miserable looking squat toilet.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

I've lived in Japan for many years, but have only used the squat toilets twice, in emergency situations. I'm always afraid I'll drop something in my pants

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Agree with all of the above. How difficult can it be to install decent toilets in schools?

reflecting a lack of state subsidies and low priority given to modernizing toilets

Hogwash. Anyone here can go to the shiyakusho and just take a look at the expensive cars parked where the Shokunin designated areas are. The public officials make some serious dosh. lack of state subsidies NO. low priority YES. They just pocket the money. Filth.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

However, if constipated, a squat toilet is a God-send! Allows you to effortlessly crimp off a length without having to strain.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Ever heard that many children don't want to sit on the toilet seat that someone already sat and made it dirty. So some still want squat toilet.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Schools have more important things to spend money on than replacing Japanese style toilets ("squat" toilets) with Western toilets. Those of us who grew up with Japanese style toilets find nothing strange about them. No big deal.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

As Kwatt said, there are a lot of issues about using the restrooms in schools. A lot of kids are worried if they stink the place up they will get teased, or bullied. Others don't want to sit on a strange, cold toilet. While others only want to use a restroom that has a washlet for hygiene reasons.

I can't imagine having to go and then holding it in all day until you get home! That cannot be healthy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not being biased to one design over the other, but since the kids surely have commodes at home (most of them, at least) would make more sense to have the same at school. More convenient.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Nothing is more disheartening and disappointing ahead of a relaxing sit down than being greeted by a miserable looking squat toilet.

yeah. I know. I’m fat too :-)

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Squat toilets are not good for the intestines. Many Japanese have twisted intestines due to using squat toilets.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Myself prefer western style, my sons High School has already renovated all their Toilets.

Used to squat Toilets as when I was a young lad I often encountered them on travels to southern europe. Usually a hole 2 recesses for the feet and handles on the wall.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My younger daughters elementary school did this 10 years ago. With subsidies from the city govt., they replaced all the squats.

Reasons were exactly as stated - most kids had no experience of using such, so essentially held tight all day until they went home. This caused a lot of stress and anxiety amongst kids as well as parents and teachers.

They also installed disinfecant dispensers (liquid) in the cubicles so users can wipe the seat with toilet paper before use.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Please Japan stop putting squat toilets in new public restrooms, every time I want to use

a public restroom every western style is full and the only open was is the japanese style,

no one uses...

12 ( +13 / -1 )

squat toilets are a health disaster. old people in my hospital have great problems due to hip and knee problems and prefer to use nappies. with the olympics coming, and a large number of obese patrons (60% of Brits), Japan will be laughing stock of the world.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

oh, forgot to moan about no soap in toilets...

11 ( +11 / -0 )

it's a huge pain in the arse using a squat toilet because i have to gear down and hold my pants while using it.

haiyaiToday 09:25 am JSTPlease Japan stop putting squat toilets in new public restrooms,

and this is sooooo true. jr is renovating lots of public toilets at train stations, and they are still installing at least one squat toilet. wth?!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Squatting complicates an uncomplicated process. Hold your pants ensuring they and your hand is clear ,ensure your not aiming at the floor, grip the disgusting hand hold, hope to god there is soap outside. Personally my knees are so bad its impossible for me to contemplate using one anymore. I can't be the only one. Japan prides it's self on toilet technology why not display this cutting edge technology in a practical environment?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Practically all of them have both types. Usually there will be one or two western style stalls and several of the traditional type.

The squatting toilets are still popular and I don't think they're really refurbishing all public schools for the sake of ALTs. :p

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I always worry about losing my balance and falling in to a squat toilet. Plus you have to be careful not to urinate all over your trousers, or worse.

However, they are useful for collecting stool samples for medical tests as there is no risk of the loaves sinking out of reach.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

reflecting a lack of state subsidies and low priority given to modernizing toilets built mainly in the 1960s and 1970s.

There's the whole problem in one statement. Japan spends far less on education than any of the other G7 countries. The public schools are a disgusting mess! Most were built in the 60's and 70's and have not been touched since. The only things that get upgraded are desks and blackboards. Any other other upgrades like, audio visual equipment and computers are supplied by funds raised through the PTA. Even the private high school I work in, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last week, has not upgraded any of its equipment since opening. Around 50% of the toilets are pit toilets too. They have 30 computers for common use, which are cheap, old and slow running Windows Vista (the worst MS OS ever!). A group of Australian private high school students visited the school earlier this year. I had a 'frank' chat with the principal of the Australian school and he was shocked to the point of disgust at how little audio-visual equipment the school had and how this technology is not incorporated into their studies. All the students at his school have iPads and use them in nearly every class. I also warned him and the students about where the pit toilets were. The pit toilets in Japanese schools are a problem, but there are far worse issues that need to be addressed in Japanese schools.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I think I've used one maybe 3 times in 19 years. Never by choice.

5 ( +6 / -1 )


A toilet?! ; )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Around 50% of the toilets are pit toilets too.

@Disillusioned Do you teach in a mountain hut? I highly doubt you mean "pit toilets". If it flushes, its not a "pit toilet" (where things just go straight into a hole without flushing). Just because one squats, doesn't mean it goes into a pit.

But I'd be sure that if you mistakenly told your Australian visitors that your school incorporates "pit toilets" then yes, they'd be repulsed.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Interesting. The only place I have seen a squat toilet was in Eastern Europe. Even the Romans used sit down toilets. Before Western Europeans and Americans had running water, they used outdoor sit down toilets. Maybe it is just a matter of custom. When in Japan, do as the Japanese do, unless you have access to a sit down toilet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many high schools also put a higher priority on enhancing quake resistance of school buildings rather than renovating restrooms.

That would be my main concern about old Japanese school buildings from the 1960s and 1970s. We all saw what happened at that earthquake in China. The toilets can wait. Just a reminder but It was reported yesterday that the Earth's rotation has slowed slightly, reckoned to be a precursor for more seismic activity in the next few years. No-one in Japan should take the risk of earthquakes lightly.

Back to the story, but Japanese spending on children as a percentage of GDP is lowest in OECD, and antiquated school buildings are only one symptom of this. I get a bit annoyed by people going on and on about the shortage of cheap under threes childcare as if that is the only issue with raising kids. There are lots of other problems that affect many more children for longer periods of their lives and that would be far cheaper to fix.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

ridiculous.  Govt. printing money to spend on all sorts of wasteful stuff.  putting some decent khazis in schools seems like a good cause.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

reflecting a lack of state subsidies 

Kyodo News wants taxes hiked to pay for toilet rennovations now?

and low priority given to modernizing toilets built mainly in the 1960s and 1970s.

"Modernizing"? WTF is that? "Western" toilet = modern, "Japanese" toilet = old school?

a survey by a group of national and local lawmakers promoting the installation of Western-style toilets

So are they getting kickbacks from toilet makers? These are questions that must be asked.

The shortage of Western-style toilets at schools has stirred concerns that children shunning squat types tend to hold back and could suffer constipation.

I am a foreigner and I tell you, when it's time to go, it's time to go.

Some experts have also pointed out a sanitary problem as floors around squat toilets tend to be splashed and get dirty more easily.

Studies show this do they? Where are the studies?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Magnus - any links to your statement "practically all schools have both" - and we're talking about toilets freely available for all students to use.

In my university they opened a new building ( 9 floors) about 6~7 years ago. Every toilet block (I only know mens) has a seat & a squat. From my limited experience, I have observed no-one ever using the squat. In fact if the Throne is occupied, it appears most folks will leave and I assume come back after a while.

Japan - famous for the most hi-tech toilets in the world and arguably the most lo-tech (in modern countries). Strange?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"handicapped people"? How about writing "disabled individuals' instead...?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I'm always afraid I'll drop something in my pants, best way to use squat toilet is to take off your pant altogether and hang them on the door hook, that way youve go no chance of slinging anything unwanted in your pants.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"handicapped people"? How about writing "disabled individuals' why stop there why not call them "genetically abnormal humans" .

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

When I was in school in the 80s and 90s, we students were in charge of keeping the school, including the toilets, clean. Don't they do that anymore?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I would not like to be the cleaners! When visiting public parks here where 99% seem to be squat toilets there is usually a pile of feces on the floor which is a good excuse to keep a safe distance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

oh, forgot to moan about no soap in toilets...

You'll be wanting hot water next

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mr Noidal  - "... Instead, they still prefer the rough rasp of sandpaper-like toilet paper, dingle berries, and remaining debris...." Ha, Ha.

I'm sorry for your pain. Ganbatte!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

browny1Nov. 21 12:44 pm JSTMagnus - any links to your statement "practically all schools have both" - and we're talking about toilets freely available for all students to use.

No link, but about 20 years ago I had the pleasure of attending a public high school in Ibaraki, over the year visiting many other schools for sports events and festivals. I never saw a toilet without a western toilet.

Regarding new constructions there isn't any cost benefit to choose honey buckets vs seated toilets, but it's a bit of a moot point as schools are generally demolished rather than built because of the lack of students in the rural districts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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