One subject I write about a lot is the great interest the Japanese seem to take in what foreigners visiting from other parts of the world think about their country. This is a topic that shows up on Japanese TV a lot, such as a popular show called YOUは何しに日本へ？ YOU wa nani shini Nihon e? or “Why did you come to Japan?” in which camera crews hang around the arrival lobby of Narita Airport and interview random foreign visitors, asking them why they’ve come to Japan. The answers are always interesting, from a collector of Japanese swords on a buying trip to an experienced cosplayer arriving in Japan to show off his skills at a fan event to a group of French visitors who were in Tokyo to study ninjutsu, the art of the Ninja. There was one family from Texas who had spent ten days doing various things in Tokyo, and the Japanese interviewers were amazed that Americans could visit a country with no detailed plan of what they wanted to do, hitting Tokyo Disneyland one day and the temples of Nikko the next depending on their mood — Japanese people love to plan every hour of every day when they take a vacation. The finale of the show came when the family was invited into the studio, which is kind of a cliché at this point — come to Japan, find yourself on a Japanese game show — but they certainly had fun.
Japanese are interested in foreigners who are interested in Japan.