"The Japanese have realized that the old-fashioned custom of avoiding the discussion on toilets and bathrooms only resulted in dirty outhouses. Today, in Japanese homes, the toilet takes pride of place," said Koo Ue, spokesman for the Japan Toilet Association (JTA). According to Ue, modern bathroom trends reflect the high respect that the Japanese have for clean, healthy lifestyles. The catching up has been swift. Ue and others like him who promote flush toilets supported by sewage systems report impressive and rapid gains. Flush-toilet use in the country now stands at a respectable 88%, much higher than the pathetic figure of 50% just a decade ago, according to the Japan Sewage Association.
The traditional Japanese squat-type toilet:
And the modern kind, with all the gadgets you could ever want: