Foreign activists returning to Japan amid a push for better governance will get no further than they did the last time by shouting for change.

That's the view of Alex Treves, the head of equities at Fidelity Worldwide Investment in Tokyo. Even as company executives heed the government's call to use capital more efficiently, they won't put up with activists who piggyback on the governance push by aggressively making demands, he said.

About a decade ago, Japan Inc.'s propensity to hoard cash and tolerate low profits made it a target of activist funds who saw room for improvement. Instead of easy pickings, they found an establishment that mostly refused to listen.