The other day I visited Hastings museum (which is currently hosting an exhibition of some wonderful Japanese prints). There were a collection of children's drawings on display. These were entries in a competition for children to draw Manga style art. It is interesting that young children now have the cultural knowledge to recognise and copy the Japanese Manga style.
Children today are exposed to a lot of Japanese culture through films, toys, cartoons, comics and computer games. One of the biggest Japanese fads was the inane Pokemon phenomena.
I remember some years ago, switching on the television and finding that a Pokemon cartoon was on, I noticed that the characters had all removed their shoes at the door of a house and the hostess was barefoot. I don't know if the characters were supposed to be Japanese or American; they looked white to me (perhaps a helpful reader can clarify), but whatever the case, the Japanese custom of removing shoes in homes was being portrayed in the cartoon.
Yesterday I was in the supermarket and heard a boy of about 12 or 13 years asking his mother if they could have sushi for dinner. I was impressed with the boy's cultural fluency (though I am sure his nose-ringed mother was the sort of middle-class Hippy type that would steer her children in that direction- perhaps she even kept a shoe-free home).
It seems clear to me that a lot of boys between the ages of 10 and 20 have a real enthusiasm for Japan that they have gained through Japanese cultural imports. Such boys would dearly love to visit the country (though they might not enjoy the standard tourist temple tour). A lot of girls share this enthusiasm for Japan too.
With all this exposure and enthusiasm for Japan, we can be confident that the next generation will be far more disposed to have a no-shoes policy in their homes.