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'Toilet paper for smartphones' debuts at Narita Airport

A concept image of "toilet paper for smartphones." (Image courtesy of NTT Docomo Inc.)
"Toilet paper for smartphones" (Photo courtesy of NTT Docomo Inc.)
"Toilet paper for smartphones" installed in a Narita International Airport bathroom stall. (Photo courtesy of NTT Docomo Inc.)

Dispensers for rolls of paper designed for cleaning smartphone screens have been installed in bathroom stalls -- next to regular toilet paper dispensers -- in the arrivals terminal of Narita International Airport.

    The rolls of paper and paper dispensers, dubbed "toilet paper for smartphones" look like smaller versions of regular toilet paper and dispensers, and were installed in 86 stalls at seven restroom facilities in the terminal by cellular phone operating giant NTT Docomo Inc. on Dec. 16. They are set to remain in place until March 15, 2017.

    According to a survey conducted in 2015 by major Japanese toilet manufacturer Toto Ltd., many foreign visitors praised the cleanliness of public restrooms in Japan. Meanwhile, a U.S. research institute has released data showing that smartphone screens commonly have more bacteria on them than toilet seats do, while a Japan Tourism Agency survey has shown that foreign visitors to Japan said they encountered the most trouble with Wi-Fi services, or lack thereof, when traveling in Japan.

    Docomo's toilet paper for smartphones is the company's solution to such findings. The paper can be used not only to clean smartphone screens, but have information printed on it in English about Docomo Wi-Fi services and travel information.

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