Seeing a KLR as a kid motivated me to get into dual sport riding, but alas, they're too tall and top heavy for what I enjoy. As a touring bike that you can get on gravel, dirt, etc. it's good, and has the clearance for serious stuff. But personally, I'd rather paddle the TW or get off it and lift, as opposed to trying to work the topheavy KLR with a 30" inseam.
I'm not saying it's not doable, but I'm not that good of a rider to get by on one and still enjoy the ride. Better riders could (and do) make great use of the thing in tough stuff, but any seasoned rider will also mention that it doesn't excel there. It's one of those jack of all trades, master of none kinda things, making it a master at being good enough at everything, I suppose?
If you're really doing true 50/50 riding, a KLR is probably a slightly better choice, and a much better choice if that 50% you spend on pavement is highway/interstate stuff. 51% offroad is enough for me to pick the TW, though.
I would certainly imagine they market the KLR with the same seat height in Japan, or else folks here would be ordering the Jap parts to lower it. This only leaves me to wonder how those folks mount the thing. After seeing the Little League World Series, though, maybe it's a bike for baseball players over there. Gargantuan Japanese kids.