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Japan: Hi-tech toilets; China: playing catch-up

This is a tale of two "sitties." Japan is pushing to install thousands more of the high-tech toilets that have become the national standard in advance of the 2020 Olympics, while China is pledging to upgrade its public toilets, mostly squatters, to meet tourist complaints.


The Japanese toilets, powered by electricity, do nearly everything but wipe you. The seat rises to great you, and it's been heated for your comfort. The toilet also has bidet jets, odor neutralizers, noise-masking melodies and more. They're in hotels and homes; the government plans to encourage installation in airports, stadiums and more, as well as to provide instructions for the uninitiated.


China, meanwhile, still largely relies on older squat toilets such as these. Tourists unused to squatting often complain of them, and the govern-ment tourist agency head, Li Jinzao, has promised 33,500 new toilet facilities by 2018, with another 25,000 being renovated.



Japan photo: Wikimedia / Peter van den Bossche

China photo: Wikimedia / Marihachi

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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