TOKYO – Whatever happens in Japan’s general election on Sunday, the nation’s leader has already signaled that the economy is losing momentum heading toward 2022.

That boss, by the way, is not Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, but Japan’s real leader – Haruhiko Kuroda.

As Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party fumbles on, year after year, Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda has been running the globe’s third-biggest economy behind the scenes. And also tending to the job elected officials refuse to do themselves: attempting to boost wages and national competitiveness.

On Sunday, the LDP is roundly expected to maintain its grip over the Diet’s key Lower House, with Kishida its uncharismatic frontman.

For now, at least. LDP premiers tend to be the Spinal Tap drummers of global leadership circles – “Here today, gone soon enough.”