From what I've experienced, driving in Japan is absolutely terrifying. Most residential roads barely have room to accommodate two cars. Whenever two cars meet, a delicate dance is performed as they stop, and then barely sneak by each other. When pedestrians are added to the mix it is beyond me how people aren't getting hit left and right. In reality, Japan has roughly half as many fatalities per 100,000 vehicles as the US so they must be doing something right. This statistic takes into consideration the fact that many people in Japan don't drive.
One thing likely keeping people safe are these convex mirrors installed throughout many residential areas. I've found them quite helpful in keeping track of cars as a pedestrian.
I'm especially proud of the fact that I was able to take this picture without my reflection appearing in either mirror.