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Approval of a New International Standard Proposed by Japan through the Top Standard Scheme-For globally standardizing a general guideline concerning assessment of assistive products for absorbing urine-

On August 22, 2013, the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC), with the secretariat operated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), proposed to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) a new international standard concerning a general guideline for assessing assistive products for absorbing urine. Following the ISO’s voting period on the proposal, the proposal was approved as an official proposal for a new international standard. The proposal will be fully examined in the ISO.

Responding to a request from Unicharm Corporation and the Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association (JHPIA), the proposal was examined by the JISC and submitted to the ISO through the Top Standard Scheme.

This effort aims to globally standardize a method for assessing assistive products for absorbing urine, namely, adult disposable diapers, so that users are able to readily choose one among a variety of current products and that a resource-saving approach can promote environment friendliness.

In Japan, there are various types of assistive products for absorbing urine (adult disposable diapers) developed, including those secured with tape, underpants-types, and two-piece types. Such variety provides users with more options for products depending on their living and physical conditions (see Appendix 1 (in Japanese)).

Currently, there are some global standards concerning these products, but not all of the products circulated on the market are considered for creating such existing standards, which hinders the smooth dissemination of such products on the global market. To overcome this challenge, Japan believes that it is necessary to review existing standards so as to adapt such standards to current situations of products and provide users from the viewpoint of user-friendliness.

Reflecting Japan’s proposal to the existing global standards is expected to not only enhance user-friendliness but also promote a resource-saving approach toward environment friendliness, as well as bringing an effect of reducing users’ cost burden.

In May 2013, Unicharm Corporation and the JHPIA submitted to the JISC a request for a new international standard through the Top Standard Scheme, aiming to globally standardize a general guideline for adult disposable diapers, and following the approval of the proposal in the JISC, on August 22, 2013, the proposal was submitted to the ISO. After Japan’s presentation was made at the international convention in October 2013 and ISO’s subsequent voting period of three months from December 19, 2013, the proposal was approved as an official new proposal. In accordance with ISO procedure, it will be further examined by ISO Technical Committee 173 for assistive products for persons with disabilities, and will be issued as a new international standard if the ISO reaches a consensus.

The proposal was submitted through utilizing the Top Standard Scheme, a new system launched in June 2012, allowing a party to swiftly propose a new international standard (for details, see Appendix 2 (in Japanese)). METI expects that people will utilize the scheme to globally standardize technologies more swiftly, leading to the promotion of new global markets for Japan’s highly functionalized materials.

Release Date

March 27, 2014

Division in Charge

Standardization Office for Consumers and Environment, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau

Related Information

International Standards

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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