Tokyo's Shibuya Ward removes women's urinals from public toilet

Tokyo's Shibuya Ward removes women's urinals from public toilet

The municipal Hatagaya public toilet complex, built in February and seen here in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on March 7, has two universal restroom stalls and a men's area with urinals. Sho Tanji A public restroom in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward has caused controversy online as it abolished a women-only area after the ward government rebuilt it in February despite keeping the men's urinals.

The toilet complex in the Hatagaya 3 chome district of the ward comprises two universal restroom stalls and a men's area with urinals.

The public toilet complex of Hatagaya is located in a corner of a residential area about 600 meters from Keio New Line Hatagaya Station.

It previously had a men's area, a women's restroom and a unisex, multipurpose restroom.

It now has two universal barrier-free restroom stalls equipped with a diaper-changing table and facilities for ostomates, among other features.

The men's area has remained. It has two urinals and is separated from the universal toilets.

The women's area is gone.

Ken Suda, a member of the Shibuya Ward assembly, pointed out the removal in a post on his Twitter account on March 6. His post has been cited in many quoted tweets.

There should be a priority on safety and security when it comes to a municipal restroom complex of the ward, according to Suda, who spokeswoman for The Asahi Shimbun. The women's area shouldn't have been removed in light of crime prevention and other perspectives. The ward government reacted by releasing a statement on its website on March 7, part of which reads We have never set a direction for abolishing women's areas in maintaining and upgrading our public toilets in the years to come. A ward government official told The Asahi Shimbun that they wanted to make sure everyone can use their public toilets in comfort. Some of our public restroom complexes may end up centered on universal toilet stalls, like what you have seen in the latest case. The ward government plans to install surveillance cameras at public toilet complexes in the ward, as a result of the men's urinals being retained to prevent an excessive concentration of users of the universal restrooms, according to the official.

In 2018 the Shibuya Ward government worked out a set of basic policies on toilet environment development that include receptivity to diversity and the availability of more options for those with special needs. The ward government has been working with the Nippon Foundation on a project to upgrade 17 public restroom complexes.

The ward government official said that the work will ensure there is at least one universal toilet stall.