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I was all set to finally bleed my brakes after 7,000 miles. Is there a trick with these screws? I'm halfway towards stripping them completely. I've tried different size Philips and flatheads. Nothing works. Do I need a specific Japanese screwdriver or what?

It's always the easiest-sounding parts of a job that end up going wrong, isn't it?
 

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Yes if you want to latch onto them correctly then you require a JIS screw driver (Japanese Industrial Standard) , very similar to Phillips screwdrivers but have a smaller centre point profile.

Since it sounds like you are already half way gone though try this trick: Get someone to tap the end of your screw driver with a hammer as you twist and push down on it at the same time. Might be just enough to shock the thread loose.
 
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