Japanese kids learn the alphabet -- almost as quickly as they learn hiragana and katakana... I can't speak for all kids but my son learned the alphabet first, b/c most signs/billboards are in the latin alphabet. For the reverse, I guess it's true to an extent. The written side of Asian languages are very daunting. Some parts are easier though. Japanese pronunciation is a joke, for starters.cez, all you say is really true, but why the alphabet argument doesn't work? Only kids can speak a language without learning the alphabet. But when you start to learn another language - you start from the alphabet.
But back to the point. All Japanese kids learn the alphabet very quickly. Things go pear-shaped from there 90% of the time.