There is put up a straw man and knock it down bad, mated with the ethically questionable reworking of what should have been an interview into an op-ed bad. (Link)
There is I-am-a-world-renowned-social-scientist-who-has-previously-written-about-Japan-from-a-scientific-angle-but-for-this-article-I-just-do-not-have-the-time-to-do-the-research bad. (Link)
The article's redeeming feature? Brutal honesty about its own shortcomings:
"In the absence of rigorous sociological polling, I’ll summarize interviews that Japanese friends have conducted for me."Wow! Call such a methodology what you will...but duplicitous it ain't.
And then there is fishing for grants and fellowships bad, piggybacked on promoting a new book with a new paradigm bad. (Link)
As for the above, the first thing for the authors to do is research what a weathervane does. They might find that a weathervane follows the wind; it does not point out the direction in which the wind will be blowing.
Having learned about weathervanes, they perhaps can get their historical progressions going in their proper directions.
As for their prognostications about this blessed land's steps to joining a New West, mixing the culinary with the architectural is poor form. A tossed salad should be presented as a tossed salad: it is not the outlines and suggestions of a building.