With an exceptionally low crime rate, Japan has more young children walking to school and running errands on their own than most Westernized cultures. But it's not just the low crime rate that makes adults feel safe to let their kids out on their own. It's an entire culture and society built on teaching independence and self-sufficiency at an early age.
I've read a ton of books that touch upon this subject particularly in the US. How cities and neighborhoods today are much safer statistically than ever before and yet parents tend to police their kids and restrict their movement more than ever. Most parents today didn't grow up that way and yet a lot of kids today end up being essentially babied until high school (sometimes later!). I think this culture in Japan can certainly be a good thing to instill here in the US.
If you don't agree, maybe you'll enjoy the video anyway for the glimpses of Japan and all of its efficiency.