Barrier-free Transport Promotion Division

Guidelines for Public Information Symbols

1.Background and purpose of the guideline

Public information symbols, used in such places as transportation facilities, tourist facilities, sports facilities, and commercial facilities that are accessed by many unspecified people, are easy to understand at a glance. Public information symbols are also an excellent means of providing information that is difficult to convey using text or when verbal communication is not required. In the latter half of the 1990s, before the 2002 Japan-Korea World Cup was held, standardization lagged both domestically and internationally, and as a Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) for such symbols did not exist, each facility designed and used its own scheme. Also, internationally only 57 items had been standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

However, the requirements of users had diversified due to changes in society, and from the perspective of providing facilities with barrier-free access, the need to further enhance and unify these graphical symbols also increased. Thus, in March 2001, the "Public Information Symbols Guideline" was developed with the objective of presenting standards for the public information symbols to be used in such domestic facilities as transportation facilities, tourist facilities, sports facilities, and commercial facilities.

Thereafter, the establishment of the JIS Z 8210 "Public information symbols" began domestically, and the number of graphical symbols registered internationally by the ISO also increased. In particular, in view of the decision in September 2013 to host the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2020, as well as a forecast for ever greater numbers of inbound tourists visiting Japan in the future, a revised version of the "Public Information Symbols Guideline" was prepared in March 2017. Additionally, we prepared this "Public Information Symbols Guideline 2020" in March 2020 with the aim of adding unified public information symbols to be used at the Olympics and Paralympic Games facilities and presenting standards as an aid to creating an inclusive society from the perspective of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games and beyond.

Also, the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from January 2020 brought about the start of new lifestyles in Japan and complete changes in the daily lives of the people. For this reason, we promptly examined graphic symbols that could be considered necessary in relation to infectious diseases, and have prepared the "Public Information Symbols Guideline 2021.".

2.Process of Determination

This guideline was developed based on the results of the review by the "Study Committee of Public Information Symbols for review of the Public Information Symbols Guideline 2020" (hereinafter the "Committee") established by the Foundation for Promoting Personal Mobility and Ecological Transportation (hereinafter the "Eco-Mo Foundation").

As shown in Table 1, the Committee was established in April 2021 with the participation of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, together with government agencies such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, concerned parties, transportation companies, academic experts, and designers, and examined graphic symbols related to infectious diseases. Before the establishment of the Committee, the Eco-Mo Foundation and Japan Sign Design Association (hereinafter the "SDA") were collaborating on the creation of candidate designs related to infectious diseases. The Eco-Mo Foundation narrowed down eight candidate designs submitted by the SDA to five graphic symbols that would particularly be likely to be required for information when traveling by public transport. After consulting with the Committee and conducting comprehension and visibility tests in conformance with ISO and JIS examination methods, five public information symbols were developed and added in August 2021.

3.Designers of the Symbols

The graphical symbols used in this guideline were designed by the SDA and Kenzo Nakagawa of NDC Graphics, with the exception of symbols 1 to 7 marked with an asterisk and credited as follows.

* 1 Fire Prevention Ordinance

* 2 Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association

* 3 ISO 7001:2017

* 4 Notification based on the Fire Service Act

* 5 NPO Bousai Jyouhou Kikou

* 6 Standard type of graphical symbol

* 7 International Symbol of Access

4.Use of this guideline and graphical symbols

Anyone can freely use the graphical symbols in this revised version of this guideline. In addition, the guideline and these graphical symbols are available for use from the website of the Foundation for Promoting Personal Mobility and Ecological Transportation (

However, note that registering these graphical symbols as a trademark or design may infringe upon the rights of third parties. If you have any questions, contact us at the following.

Public Information Symbols Guideline 2021(320kb)

Name of organization Promotion Division for Accessible Transtportation, Foundation for Promoting Personal Mobility and Ecological Transportation(Eco-Mo Foundation)
Telephone +81-3-5844-6265 (Promotion Division for Accessible Transportation)
Fax +81-3-5844-6294