ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Business trends

Japan's public toilets are not only clean, they're clever

Multifunctional and multilingual toilets are cropping up ahead of the Olympics

New toilets installed at the Ebina Service Area, a highway rest stop southwest of Tokyo on the Tomei Expressway, have sensors in the seats that can measure driver fatigue. (Photo by Yoichi Iwata)

TOKYO -- Say the words "public toilet" in most countries, and the reaction you will get is likely one of mild distaste, if not outright disgust. Less so in famously fastidious Japan, where public toilets are smartening up ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Toll road operator Central Nippon Expressway in late December installed 20 toilets (10 in either direction) at the Ebina Service Area on the Tomei Expressway that can measure drivers' fatigue and let them know when it's time to take a break. When the person sits down, sensors in the seat take a pulse. The technology first appeared in nursing homes and hospitals.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more