I think it’s say to safe Japan might be one of the most idealised non-Western countries if it weren’t for anime media. There are certainly anime that depict Japan, people in general and other countries in a more realistic or at least non-stereotypical light. (There are certainly anime that do defy conventional moe stereotypes.)
The problem is, whilst it wasn’t always better before, there’s a tendency to define Japan through anime (I’m also guilty of this at times). Something like assuming all Japanese people to like anime (not all of them do nor have the time for it, especially if they have studies to complete). There could be anime fans who’re interested in Japanese football.
But not too many from personal experience. Maybe if they think Japan is anime, this is perhaps their point of reference that they stick to. Even if there are other sides to Japan that they miss out like sports and ecology.