I know a lot of dramas are based on manga even Chinese, Korean and Thai dramas...
I would say these countries have done a much better job on average (not all the time) adapting the content to a live action show. It's hard to judge the entire Japanese industry because I don't watch very much. I usually pick up the ones people are fawning over like Kahogo no Kahoko. I watch them and then wonder "what is it people see in this drama, it's not bad but it's not very good".
Silly, childish and ridiculous come up too often in my mind when I think of a Japanese show or movie I watched. Even the shows I enjoyed I could use those descriptions - Rental No Koi and Million Yen Women. Ridiculous. Silly. Superficial. Sometimes childish. I did like those shows.
I'll edit to add a show based on manga I really enjoyed: Nobunaga Concerto. It was silly, childish and ridiculous at times but unlike many other Japanese shows - it managed to be serious, emotional and compelling at other times.
I think Japan has done well with anime. I know a lot of people who grew up watching dubbed Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z. You have that niche group that continued to love anime as they aged. But yeah every other cultural export - they have done very poorly relative to South Korea and even China now.
We will see. I've seen a progressive increase in Japanese content on Netflix. Viki is now licensing content.
It seems Japan is trying to make their content more accessible and more convenient. They have the 2020 Olympics. It's pretty much now or never for them.
They have a long and documented history, a royal family, mature cultural industries and a major global event in a few years that gets people to pay attention to them. If they fail to capitalize they have only themselves to blame.
South Korea and China have done much better in different ways. South Korea has exported its culture through a conscious and coordinated effort. South Korea tried to understand what people like and dislike and did some tweaking based on that. South Korean government, companies and entertainment industries all came together.
China has sent and continues to send millions of kids abroad to universities throughout the world. I bet you I could walk on the campus of any university in my city and I could find a Chinese government sponsored language learning center. I could likely find a scheduled "travel to China!" event encouraging tourism to China too. I went to school with a ton of Chinese students. They also seem to be licensing content to Netflix, they have been to Viki for a while. I see a lot of their shows on Youtube and some get subtitles on there.
Part of me wonder if this is an ignorant, bumbling and poorly thought out attempt to counter Korea's dominance in the region. Every now and then a Japanese politician or entertainer will say something negative about Korean content existing in Japan and call for a boycott or something. If they're serious they will get a panel of foreigners such as Chinese, Korean, etc... to provide honest opinions that the Japanese government and industries can reflect on. But self-reflection is severely lacking while chest-thumping has been too prevalent.