2:09:06 isn't horrible. IT's a time only 5 American-born men in history have eclipsed.
You gotta give the Japanese credit for aiming high. They've set the bar high for 2015 Worlds as the auto qualifying time is 2:06:30 (that's a time only one Japanese man has ever run). Their failure to hit that will soon proove that it's not a lack of goals that prevent them from being good.
Kenya isn't amazingly good at distance running and incredibly bad at sprinting/football due to a national mindset
Personally, I'm always praising the Japanese for doing so well at the marathon given their lack of speed in other events.