At Tuesday's Lower House Budget Committee session, opposition lawmaker Kazunori Yamanoi looked furious.

It may have been posturing, but Yamanoi, of the Democratic Party for the People, perhaps had good reason to be angry: the government is refusing to publicize the average real wage of workers in the nation last year, one of the most fundamental economic indicators used to gauge the economic conditions of millions of employees across Japan.

"We don't know if the real wage, which is the most important (economic indicator), was positive or negative (last year)," said Yamanoi.