We often have conversations about how much child-rearing practices (or a child's sociocultural context) are reflected in how a child behaves or performs at school. I've learned a lot about Japanese parenting this summer as I've spent more time with a Japanese friend and her kids. She has told me that in Japan, her kids (ages 3 and 7) went all around their neighborhood by themselves daily. She finds she's much busier in the US since she has to be with her older children all the time with her new baby.
We have to be so careful about generalizations, but this NPR article outlines some practices in 9 different cultures, including one from Japan "kids go out by themselves."