Margaret Sanger, "Japanese Militarists," 24 Apr 1944.

Source: " Japs Hit Birth Control As War Block, Seattle Post Intelligencer, Apr. 25, 1944.."

Sanger gave this statement in Seattle, while visiting her son, Grant Sanger, and his family.


Japs Hit Birth Control As War Block

by Lucille Cohen

Japanese militarists as far back as 1921 were fighting dissemination of birth control information, fearful that a lowered birth rate would block their plans for war, Mrs. Margaret Sanger, national leader of the birth control movement, declared yesterday in Seattle.

And unless the men who dictate the peace terms force Japan, Germany and Italy to control their birth rates instead of their armament production, the three countries will throw the world into war again in 20 years, she added.

Mrs. Sanger bases her opinions on her own experiences in Japan in 1921 when she was invited to make a speaking tour with Bertrand Russell, the English philosopher, and Albert Einstein, the German mathematical genius.

First the Japanese government canceled Mrs. Sanger’s visa and then when she managed to get into the country--“by intrigue,” she says-- she found she was allowed to make only private speeches.

“The people were clamoring for the information I was bringing,” she said. “Japanese women are like women everyplace else. They didn’t want to be burdened down with a baby every year until they had more children than they could raise or educate.

“But the military group wasn’t going to let them hear me. The militarists were beating the tom-toms for the glory of prolific motherhood and what it would do for Japan and her place in the sun.”

When Mrs. Sanger returned to Japan in 1939 for the second and last time she discovered plans for increasing the birth rate were getting along fine--with the help of American money.

“The first time I was there the birth rate was about two million a year, of which about one million babies lived” she said. "The second time I found that with private American funds given for improving public health the Japanese were cutting down the infant mortality rate so that between 1,500,000 and 1,800,000 of the babies born each year lived.”

As outlined to her by Japanese parliament members, the militarists’ plan was to encourage population growth to create a need for expansion that would, in turn, provide an excuse for war.

Mrs. Sanger is here visiting her son, Lt. Grant Sanger of 4702 W. Ruffner St., a member of the naval medical corps stationed in Seattle. Her other son, Ctp. Stuart Sanger, is in England with the army.


Subject Terms:

Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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