The article by Pico Iyer at New York Times (3/22/2012) seems to say "Nothing has changed about Japan, only better". The author says he's been living around Kyoto for the past 25 years:
...The 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that hit the country on March 11, 2011, claimed almost 20,000 lives, overturned an economy that had already been foundering through 20 years of recession, and demoralized a citizenry dealing with one suicide every 17 minutes, a loss of direction, and what is now seven prime ministers in fewer than six years.
Yet it also highlighted the resilience, self-possession and community-mindedness that are so striking in Japan; suddenly, the country that had seemed to insist on its difference from the rest of the world could be seen in its more human, compassionate and brave dimensions. Japan has long been what the globally savvy magazine Monocle called, in a recent issue, “The World’s Most Charming Nation”; now it is also one of those most grateful for visitors.