They see themselves as infinitely superior to everyone else on the planet but lack the positioning on the world stage to give this thought any effect. There is a school of thought from the monk Nichiren that says that Japan is secretly at war with Christianity and Islam and will one day vanquish them.
We have, of course, come to see throughout the world that these sorts of thoughts are not particularly Japanese. The Chinese see many Western leaders as “children playing in a sandpit” and talk about a doctrine called the “Blending of the 5 colours”, which they think will put them in the driving seat. Germany still has people in it who see themselves as part of a “Master race”. Meanwhile, the British once said that “God was an Englishman”.
Japan has been eclipsed by China and America economically and militarily and has an ageing population. It has not yet fully defined its role in the world, although under Abe they would like to be more militaristic. They, like many people in the UK, have yet to grasp the truth of the life which is that there is no monopoly on wisdom and that different countries and Peoples are experts in particular fields and that we should learn from each other. Thus reclaiming land from the sea is the expert area for the Dutch, great art, fashion and design, Italy, engineering Germany, great marketing and sales ideas America, Singapore,efficient governance and well thought out policies, the UK, banking and financial services etc, etc.
Japan could do with more innovation and less rigidity, so it needs to encourage migration from a country it can learn from.
Singapore within the confines of its immigration policy wanted more innovation and creativity, so they allowed bright Westerners to work there and raised the pay of their MPs so that their legislature would have the brightest people in the world.
Japan needs to overcome its fear and loathing of “gaijin” which literally means something like “wog”, swallow its pride and do something similar.