This article is from the American misconceptions about Japan FAQ, by Tanaka Tomoyuki email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Edwin O. Reischauer. The Japanese Today. (1995)
"Unfortunately the Japanese have proved notably inept at
learning to speak foreign languages or to comprehend
them aurally." (Page 387)
THE TRUTH: Japanese are not especially or notably inept.
Japanese and English are two very different kinds of
languages, and it is difficult for a speaker of one to
learn the other.