Banking on multinationals:public credit and the export of Japanese sunset industries
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"Banking on Multinationals" addresses two fundamental puzzles in Japanese industrial policy: Why does the Japanese state—better known for its attempts to control markets, protect infant industries, and maximize national exports—administer the world's largest public program to support the expansion of multinational corporations? And why does the Japanese state not fear loss of control over mobile multinational corporations and erosion of the domestic export base through foreign direct investment (FDI)? Solís’s explanation of Japan’s lead in state financing of FDI takes into account both the industrial policy goals behind the extension of FDI and the political uses of subsidized credit to appease economically weak but politically powerful constituencies. As the first systematic study of Japan’s public FDI loan program, "Banking on Multinationals" reveals a previously unexamined dimension of Japanese government policy and helps explain the uncanny ability of stagnant sectors and small firms to participate in FDI activities. Rather than simply espousing the familiar idea that Japan’s preeminent role is banker to multinationals as evidence of mercantilism in Japanese foreign economic policy, this book brings to life the domestic political conflicts underlying FDI policy.