According to the morals of urban area residents in Japan, the assumption that “it is scenery [viewable] from public roads and therefore it must be public” is in fact incorrect. Quite the contrary, [these morals state that] “people walking along public roads must avert their glance from the living spaces right before their eyes."
…With this culture [of privacy], if you were to walk along a residential street in an urban area of Tokyo, every 10 meters surveying all 360 degrees of your surroundings, there’s no question that you would be reported to the police within 30 minutes. Even just filming the scenery from the street with camera in hand, there’s no question that if you tried to shoot the area not covered by Street View, you would be asked, after initial questioning, to come to either the Ikegami Police Station or the Den-en-Chofu Police Station.
Here is the full story, interesting throughout. Keep also in mind that Japanese urban residents are more likely to urinate in public or use a love hotel than are, I think, most Americans.
I thank Riemannzeta for the pointer.