The main difference between Japanese folks and Americans on this front is that the Japanese were meticulous about keeping the spaces around their businesses or homes clean. They'd take matters in hand and pick up after others. This kept areas looking nice. Here in the U.S., there is often trash in the streets in front of stores, and it can remain there for a long time because no one picks up after passersby who litter.
I still miss the fact that Japanese people had an ethic which said that it didn't matter who created the problem when it came to litter or dirt. Regardless of who messed it up, someone would clean it up.