Devil's Third developer Tomonobu Itagaki has suggested that studios in his home country of Japan suffer from poor management that doesn't know what it's doing. According to the Sunglasses King, a lack of development knowledge and poor social skills are what differentiates Japan from the US.
"In the US, more so in the US than in Japan, I think there are a lot of top management people who actually know how to make games," he said. "In Japan, management people, they sort of pretend they know what they're doing.
"Those management people, they say, 'I love games,' but they don't know how to make them. So the kind of instructions that they would give to the employees would be, 'Okay, you've got to make it by when, and it has to be within this budget, and you have to sell whatever many copies.' It's the opposite of the practical. It's not practical."
Itagaki says that Japanese managers can't express themselves efficiently, lacking "American" and "European" social skills. Of course, Itagaki had a very bitter experience working with Tecmo before he quit, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's a bit jaded.
From Ninja To Viking: Tomonobu Itagaki Speaks [Gamasutra]