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Japanese city posts toilet instructions for confused tourists

By Ben Hooper
Japanese city posts toilet instructions for confused tourists
The City of Kyoto, Japan, posted these signs in public restrooms to show tourists how to use Japanese-style squat toilets and Western-style sitting commodes. Officials said the signs have reduced the number of messy incidents in public bathrooms. Image courtesy Kyoto City Hall

KYOTO, Japan, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Officials in a Japanese city said toilet instructions posted in public restrooms have successfully reduced messes created by confused tourists.

Kyoto officials said the signs, which instruct visitors on the proper use of Japanese-style squat toilets as well as Western sitting toilets, were posted in public restrooms in response to widespread sanitary issues attributed to clueless visitors improperly using the facilities.

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"We have seen an increasing number of people from overseas misuse our toilets based on their own cultural norms," Kyoto sanitation official Chikashi Ono told The Japan Times. "We hope these stickers help people understand . . . the proper way to use bathrooms."

The signs, which feature text in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean, offer advice including the proper stance for using a toilet and how to dispose of used toilet paper.

Ono said the city has noticed a significant reduction in the number of bathroom mess incidents since the signs were installed.

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