Whoever Has the Most Points Wins!
The best explanation of Japanese risk aversion I ever heard came from my old department manager back when I worked at Fujitsu. He was fond of saying:
“In both America and Japan promotion is based on the point system. Whoever has the most points gets promoted. The difference, however, is that in America you start at zero and earn points for doing things right. In Japan you start at zero and lose points for making mistakes.”