Japanese Firms Aiming to Spark European “Toilet Revolution” (News)


Frankfurt, March 24 (Jiji Press)—Japanese companies are boosting efforts in Europe to expand the use of high-tech toilet seats equipped with warm-water shower units that are popular in Japan.

Toilet makers Toto and Lixil aim to revolutionize how Europeans use the lavatory by increasing the diffusion rate of such seats, which sits below 1% in Europe, compared to roughly 80% in Japan.

Kitamura Madoka, President of Toto, touted his company’s technologically advanced seats during a recent sanitation, heating, and air conditioning devices trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, stating that “people understand the benefits of the seats from the very first use.” Toto entered the European market in 2008 and has been working to build its brand by stressing the smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces and water-saving features of its seats.

Toto displays new products at a trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 15, 2017. (© Jiji)

During the trade show Lixil, which acquired German sanitary fittings manufacturer Grohe in 2014 in a bid to crack the European market, also showed off its latest toilet seats designed in Europe.

Lixil President Seto Kin’ya praised the collaborative work of its Japanese subsidiary Inax and Grohe, noting that the combination of Japanese technology and European design have improved sales on the continent dramatically.

The warm-water shower toilets are largely found only in upscale hotels, but Seto is hopeful this will change, saying: “Culturally, the groundwork is in place for Japan’s high-tech toilets to really take off in Europe.”

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd. Content edited by the Nippon.com editorial team.]

Jiji Press business toilet