Rather than building wealth by investing in risky assets, stashing hard-earned money into savings accounts has traditionally been considered a virtue in Japan.

That sentiment may serve as one explanation for the general lack of interest in investment or asset management among ordinary Japanese people, something that is well reflected in the fact that 54% of the more than ¥2 quadrillion ($15.48 trillion) in total household financial assets is concentrated in basic savings accounts or cash. Bonds, stocks and mutual funds accounted for just 16% as of December.

Lawmakers have long sought to change that mentality.