Tokyo: A Japanese tourism board has called on foreign tourists to refrain from public "belching or flatulence" in an etiquette guide which was hastily rewritten, reportedly after complaints from a Chinese resident.

Putting used toilet paper into the waste bin instead of flushing is considered uncouth in Japan.

The Hokkaido Tourism Organization, which represents Japan’s northern-most island, published a downloadable brochure on its website, with polite instructions on everything from public bathing to using a Japanese toilet.

"Japanese etiquette is based on avoiding causing discomfort to others," the guide said. "Accordingly, Japanese will avoid bodily functions such as belching or flatulence in public, or perform bodily functions as discreetly as possible."

Japanese media have carried a spate of reports of uncouth behaviour by Chinese visitors, though some local commentators have urged understanding, recalling that Japanese tourists had often met with complaints about their behaviour.