A government panel in Japan is currently accepting applications for a toilet design contest in a bid to find the most affordable toilet for the developing world that is both comfortable and safe for women.
Japan has long been a pioneer for luxurious, high-tech toilets equipped with seat warmers and bidet jets. Haruko Arimura, the minister spearheading the campaign for women’s empowerment and the overseer of the project, said:
“I hope efforts to make the world’s best restrooms in Japan will spread broadly.”
“It is part of our efforts with hospitality for the (2020 Tokyo) Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
A report based on improving quality of life suggests that the initiative for better toilets will empower women. Since restrooms are oftentimes places that women retreat to in order to change their clothes, fix their make-up, or change their babies’ diapers, it makes sense that their upgrade would be high priority. The report predicts that by “improving comfort, cleanliness and safety, the quality of work and leisure can improve dramatically.”
Criteria taken into consideration for the best designed toilet included environmental friendliness for use during natural disasters and accessibility to foreigners and the physically disabled. A panel of seven judges that includes architects and an official from the Japan Toilet Association will rate the competitors based on cleanliness, safety, comfort, creativity and sustainability.
Applicants must submit their designs by the end of the month, and Minister Arimura will be announcing the winners in September.