In Japan, the toilet is usually placed in its own room, separate from the bath and sink area. In the home, a special pair of slippers is usually reserved for use in the toilet and kept separate from the slippers worn in the rest of the house.

There are Western and traditional Japanese-style toilets. The traditional style toilet is used by squatting down, as are most toilets throughout Asia. The Western-style toilet is becoming increasingly popular today, especially for older people who find it easier to sit rather than squat. A new type of toilet with a built-in bidet first appeared in the 1980s and is very popular today.

Up to the 1950s, the vault toilet with a holding tank that had to be emptied periodically was common, but flush toilets have increased as modern sewage systems spread throughout the country. In 1961, only six percent of Japan had sewage systems in place. By 2001, this had gone up to 62 percent, and as high as 99 percent for urban areas with populations of one million or more.

Source: The Japan Sewage Works Association


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