Not to perpetuate a stereotype, but all stereotypes are based on a certain level of reality. Please do no be offended.
The Japanese are all about following processes. Processes that are "set in stone" and simply followed. It is ingrained in their culture from practicing kata in their martial arts all the way down to simple things such as the way they drink tea. They also care about the execution of the process. They don't have an "I just work here" attitude.
Hardware is made in a factory following a "conveyor belt" process. Of course the design takes creative thought, but the manufacturing part is simply following the steps set in stone. Somewhat automated.
Software creation is very different. There is no manufacturing step. You are creating something new. There is no pre-defined set of steps that can be automated and produce working custom software. Ironically the Japanese have attempted to define a process to create software, but they don't realize the difference between processes that would directly "design" something new and processes that produce an output non-creatively.