JAPAN: High-Low

In the two decades before Pearl Harbor, when the population of Japan was growing by almost 1,000,000 every year, warlords used population pressure as an excuse to conquer or dominate foreign lands. But World War II defeat brought more than one remarkable change. Last week, after six years of study, the government's Population Research Institute announced that Japan's birthrate has been cut in half, and is now one of the world's lowest. In 1932 the average family boasted 5.8 children; today it has under three.

Last week the high priestess of planned parenthood, Margaret Sanger herself, was in Tokyo seeing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!