Mochio Umeda, a celebrity regarding internet culture published an article a few days ago which has been discussed in certain circles lately.
He said that Japanese culture was not as good as the U.S. He stated that few people preferred to talk about intellectual topics, but rather talked about trivial matters.
Many people rebuked the article. One opinion was that he did not know enough about Japanese sub-cultures which was major topic on Japanese websites, and did not know about the cellular phone web culture.
These fields were highly advanced. I also can rebut his opinion easily. A web-sharing site called nico-nico douga is better than Youtube. Japanese high school students can and do offer counter arguments from the view point of the cellular phone web culture.
I think it is true that intellectual fields are not as progressive when compared with the U.S, but other fields may be better.