This introductory chapter discusses the book's main findings. First, it demonstrates that the Fiscal Investment Loan Program (FILP) enabled the Japanese government to run a distinctive neoclassical fiscal policy based on low budget spending from the end of the 1940s through 1970. Second, it shows that the government's policy of budget restraint and pork barrel spending were two sides of the FILP coin. Third, this study reveals that, while the government's early commitment to budget restraint initially delivered economic benefits, it came at a very high long-term cost: heavy state intervention in finance, deferred fiscal burden, and the political challenge of reforming the mechanism that made it all possible. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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