In this trip I am seeing signs that this may change for the better. The conference is kicking off a new project New Horizons in Computing that shows a serious commitment of the Japanese government to computer science theory. The large turnout, over 130 registrants the majority of which are students, shows a keen interest in theory from the academic side as well.
I'd like to see more Japanese go abroad for graduate work and postdoc positions and more Japanese universities making theory an important part of their computer science programs. But given the excitement I see at this meeting I am very hopeful that Japan will also become a true theory powerhouse in the near future.