If we persisted then they would accede, but it always felt like we were forcing them to alter their well-worn lunch cycle and throwing the balance of the Universe out of whack.
Because you were.
What we call routine, they call ritual.
Just hand someone from Japan your business card improperly*... if it's someone high enough then your boss and your boss's boss may have to bow in apology** for not teaching you correctly the protocol of etiquette. Of course then you get bitched at for it. (totally worth it, my boss was a dick and this was a beautifully PA opportunity to make him suffer).
* Two hands, both corners of card pinched in index finger and thumb, card facing recipient, face up. Bow (30-60 deg, depending on your back, rank, etc.), look approx at recipients feet, present card.
** hold a 90 degree bow for 30 seconds.