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Philanthropy: A country without alms

The Japanese make few charitable donations. David Cyranoski meets a patient advocate and scientist working to change a cultural reticence about giving.

Makoto Ohama struggles to raise funds for his foundation for spinal-cord research. Credit: JAPAN SPINAL CORD FOUNDATION
Japan's richest person, Masayoshi Son (left), and America's richest, Melinda and Bill Gates, have different attitudes about donating money to charitable foundations. Credit: K. KASAHARA/AP; J. NGWENYA/REUTERS

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Cyranoski, D. Philanthropy: A country without alms. Nature 450, 24–25 (2007).

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