Japanese vets worry about feline obesity. Business fat cats are seen as a problem too. Before Nissan accused Carlos Ghosn of understating his salary, the car chief’s pay was already controversial. “Why is Ghosn’s salary so high?” asked Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in 2010. “Because he’s good at firing people.” Japan is not alone. Public anger over excessive executive pay intensified across much of the world after the financial crisis. In 2017 Theresa May branded it the “unacceptable face of capitalism”. Politicians want transparency to be part of the remedy. But trying to shame companies out of paying big cheques does not always work. The country where pay-shaming has the best chance of success is Japan. In 2010 the nation introduced new rules forcing disclosure of those paid at least ¥100m ($888,000) a year. In 2018 just 538 directors made the grade, according to Tokyo Shoko Research. Many more are paid just below the threshold. Even before 2010, a tradition of perks meant tha...

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