Actually, the Japanese league conditions MUCH more than MLB. The work ethic is not only expected, it's demanded of the players (if you believe any of the stories that are told). The issue usually is a combo of things - the quality of Japanese pitching overall, shorter fences, more fastball oriented. I still think Matsui is going to be solid - prob. 25, 85 combo - not bad, but still overhyped.
Then in regards to the trade issue - NO WAY!!
It's never a good thing to trade RJ!!