Japan's high-tech toilets are aiming to rule the world, but cultural taboo is making that goal difficult to realize. TOTO, which sold over 30 million high-tech toilets, commonly known as "Washlets," is seeking global lavatory domination, but elusive markets, including shy US consumers, find that the fervor is not shared internationally. Washlets have heated seats, posterior shower jets, odor-masking function, computerized control panel with pictograms, hot-air bottom dryers and ambient background music. For a nation that claims globally recognized brand names such as Sony and Toyota, the Washlet's relative lack of overseas presence comes as a surprise to many foreign visitors, even if they're initially baffled by its dizzying array of functions and Japanese signage. Despite the challenges in reaching foreign consumers, tapping the hotel market has met with some success, executives said, while China and other East Asian nations have seen growing demand "because they have cultures similar to Japan."