A top Japanese bureaucrat's recently published remarks critical of generous stimulus promises made by political party leaders to fight slow wage growth and low inflation ahead of the election reminded voters of the chronic lack of political commitment to fiscal discipline.

While speculation swirls over Vice Finance Minister Koji Yano's opinion piece in a magazine with the House of Representatives election just around the corner, experts say it was a timely reminder of the structural challenges faced by the Japanese economy regardless of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Calling party heads' stimulus pledges a "lavish spending contest," Yano said in his contribution to the October issue of the monthly magazine Bungeishunju that he was compelled to speak out publicly out of concern for further fiscal deterioration.