Spending plans for fiscal 2021, approved Monday by the Cabinet, already set records, but they are also expected to balloon further with a series of supplementary budgets — like those seen in the current fiscal year — as the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are almost certain to persist for some time.

Many private-sector economists have sounded the alarm over the erosion of Japan's fiscal discipline, taking the view that some of the economic measures drawn up by the government since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus were not urgent enough to warrant rolling out amid a sharp fall in tax revenue.

"It's a waste of money to take consumption-stimulating steps through extra budgets at a time when we have yet to contain the spread of the virus," said Hideo Kumano, chief economist at the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.