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Eco-Friendly Toilets Hit the Market (August 28, 2006)

SATIS: A tankless six-liter toilet (INAX Corporation)
Toilet manufacturers are battling to provide consumers with toilets that are more comfortable and easy to use. Recent developments in this market include environmentally friendly units that use less water and electricity than other models, as well as tankless toilets that take up less space because they do not store water. Major bathroom makers like TOTO Ltd. and INAX Corporation are endeavoring to anticipate and meet customers' needs, providing just the right toilet for each home.

Saving Money with a Low-Water Toilet
This April, INAX unveiled a toilet that uses only six liters of water per flush, less than half the amount required by an ordinary Japanese toilet. By raising the water level in the tank, a greater amount of energy is released when the water drops, enabling the unit to generate the same flushing power using less water. The company plans to boost sales by 20% to 600,000 units this year and to make 80% of the toilets it installs in new residential units the 6-liter variety.

TOTO, meanwhile, is already selling 6-liter toilets in the United States. Eyeing the demand for home improvement among the large number of retiring baby boomers, the company plans to introduce an ultra-water-efficient toilet in August and to switch almost its entire product line to 6-liter models over the next year.

SATIS ASTEO: A compact six-liter toilet with tank (INAX Corporation)

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Waterworks, toilets account for 28% of household water use - the largest share - more than bathing, cooking, or laundry. Compared with an ordinary 13-liter toilet, a family of four that uses an ultra-efficient unit can save the equivalent of a bathtub full of water every two days, which comes out to ¥12,000 ($104 at ¥115 to the dollar) worth of water conserved over a year. Both the above companies are trumpeting the environmental and economic benefits of these new toilets to consumers.

Tankless Toilets Save Space
With living space in Japanese homes often limited, space-saving tankless toilets are another new trend in the bathroom market. The toilet bowl itself has also been made more compact in these toilets. This new venture, which INAX hails as "the world's smallest tankless toilet," has proved popular with consumers.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., meanwhile, has this year begun selling toilets aimed at increasing the comfort level of users. The models' features include especially quiet flushing and refilling, as well as energy conservation by way of automatic control of the heated toilet seat - a standard feature in modern Japanese toilets. In such ways, toilet manufacturers are going all out in their use of cutting-edge technology to provide a more comfortable and eco-friendly experience for users.

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Copyright (c) 2006 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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