Namiko Chen's recipe for Japanese cheesecake specifically requires that the egg whites be beaten chilled. I have also asked my Japanese friends to check other Japanese recipes and they get the same instructions. On the other hand, Western recipes for Japanese cake calls for the egg whites to be beaten at room temperature. I assume that since Japanese souffle cheesecake is originally from Japan, the Japanese version is the "correct" one and that the room-temperature requirement is a modification by Westerners who copied the recipe.
I have tried Namiko's recipe with great results. The egg whites took quite some time to beat, but they remained stable even without cream of tartar. I presume beating the egg whites cold will take a longer time but will give more stability, but is this something that's well-known? I know that the same holds for cream, I just have never read it for egg whites.