Overall Pimp, you wrote an interesting post, but there were some things I wondered about.
I'm surprised by both of these examples, but especially "Indians." I've only met one Chinese immigrant who couldn't communicate well in English, and she viewed herself as a "housewife" and spent her time cleaning the mansion her husband had bought. I've never met an Indian who couldn't effectively communicate in English. Perhaps this is just my experiences in America. India and China themselves are big places. Perhaps different groups are immigrating to the States and to Canada?
I remember growing up and my grandmother reminding me again and again that "I learned English, why can't they!?!" So I see your point.
It's been a few years since I looked at Japan's proposed policies, but as I understood them, they were directed at permanent residency visas and other "self-sponsored" right? I would agree with those needing language abilities as well. Your "friends" in Japan, however, probably had either temporary "Humanities" visas (good for 1-3years) or "Spousal" visas, right? For the former, I would argue that Japan as decided, correctly or not, that they need/want English speaking foreigners in the country. As long as they see themselves with this need, they shouldn't mandate any language scores. For the later, I would argue families and family unity are more important than Language/assimilation. 'Course, I might get off on a rant about dual-visas and children...but I'll stop before I do.
That being said, there are some (admittedly limited)economic advantages to having non-"home country" language speakers in your country. These are why temporary visas should be more common in my country (the US) and why I think they exist in Japan.
eh.. my 2 cents.