Hmm, it's an interesting story...
Gen Kanai weblog: Japanese can't learn English
Bottom line? I don't think most Japanese really care to learn English more than they have to. They don't need to. Life is fine with rudimentary "Engrish." If it really mattered, then I think the tide would change...
I believe that the big problem is education system. Junior-high and high-school english education is for only examinations to pass. Reading and writing are important but commucation basis like speaking and hearing is not.
Basically, some english-speaking japanese are ruling japan. That's why they don't hope many people get to speak english. Speaking-english is a kind of special ability at least until a decade ago. They can get a good paid, they can be promoted faster then non-english-speaking japanese while it happens in japanese goverment. I know many alumni of Tokyo University that is well-known as the highest university in japan cannot speak english. It is the result of english education system in Japan.
Do not blame education system. Education system change takes a lot of time but our mind can change at once. Just learn English.