you just proved my point, Piyo. You were a tourist. Japanese treat tourists like a king. I expect to be treated like that when I visit Japan. That's why people tell others about how clean and polite they are. That's what makes people wanting to visit Japan to experience it. Get it? Tourists = money. Your visit to Japan is a profit for Japan. Liza's brother was not a tourist but as a resident. So yes it makes a world of difference.
It is simply in Japanese nature to be clean and polite. Ever seen Japanese gas station? I would love to have that in here... and they did not even expect to receive a tip for their service.
btw - I did not experience "get lost" attitude in Paris. They were courteous and helpful but those were workers (hotel, restaurants, taxi, etc).... as expected for those who cater to tourists. I will probably experience "get lost" attitude if I live in there and do not speak French.