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Japan has a long history of supporting stem cell research, and various ministries provide funding for different aspects of the work. The lion’s share of funding is distributed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW). Japan was one of the first countries in the world to establish governmental guidelines for stem cell research. In 2001, the same year that President George W. Bush blocked federal funding for most stem cell research in the United States, Japan put laws in place that allowed scientists to conduct research with fewer restrictions than in most Western nations. The following year, the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi initiated a national biotechnology strategy designed to propel Japan ...

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