maybe another question for another thread should be, Why do foreigners make such a fuss about Japanese making such a fuss about "gaijin"?
You do raise some good points, however. I have seen similar traits again in the US, in smaller communities of circles. I have seen city folk uncomfortable with things rural, because they have never dealt with real animals or things outside the zoo or pet shop. I have seen country folk uncomfortable with city settings because of all the industrialized nature of the big city. I have seen the average Joe or Jane uncomfortable dealing with things technological because they have never had to deal with these things before. Perhaps the Europeans have had better adjustments to various comfort levels such that they aren't fazed or lack the ability to adapt to most any situation?
Yeah, I've seen the Japanese salaryman in the US or overseas slurping their soba and completely clueless of what is considered etiquette, and I've seen another person, also Japanese, that has taken great care to adapt to the new environment. Then I've seen the typical ugly American pimping the streets of Roppongi, thinking he's God's gift to mankind and that it is only natural that they bow down before him and pay him homage for what his father or grandfather did in Japan. I've seen Spaniards and Germans and French, Canadians and Aussies all get in their groups in Tokyo sharing stories about how weird the Japanese are talking about how they make a fuss about "gaijin." Then I've seen those same foreigners trying to emulate being the "henna gaijin" just so they could get attention when they are alone with their Japanese partners or friends or get-togethers.
I think it's closer to human nature to point out folks that are different than you are. Japanese folks may be more vocal or obsessive about it, but I think it's a common attitude for people to have with strangers that are from a what-they-perceive-as-a-strange land, or a different place than you.
But, not trying to change viewpoints or anything...just giving my take on the question....right or wrong or whatever that may be....