Java is comparable to Python in that it's interpreted, and people do seem to be doing intensive work in it. It's also fairly fast, as interpreted languages go.
This is wrong and has been for close to 10 years now, Java is normally JIT compiled like C# (allthough it can also be precompiled just like C or C++ (but the native compilers for Java are pure crap compared to the JIT compilers so there is no reason to use them really) and has the same performance as you'd get with modern C++ compilers when it comes to arithmetics, IO, etc, (There are performance pitfalls with Java though such as expensive native calls, poor trig performance on platforms with inaccurate FPUs and writing cache friendly code in Java is fairly difficult as you don't have all that much control over how memory is allocated (Its not easy to write cache friendly code in any language though but lower level languages tend to give you more tools for it). And ofcourse, most importantly for game clients, the JIT compiler takes some time to do its thing and the slow start kinda sucks there (For the server side of things however that is a non issue as the server is meant to start once and then keep running for a very long time (The server is also far more likely to run on an architecture that actually meets the accuracy requirements Java puts on math functions making the trig performance problem a non issue))
It should be noted that there are JIT compilers available for Python aswell. (The reference implementation is an interpreter but its not the only implementation you can use, if performance with the interpreter is a problem you can use IronPython, psyco, etc instead)