Press interest, already widespread in Japan when the government denied Sanger entry, remained high as newspapers detailed every moment of the controversy, following her steps from the ship to her entry into Japan. Sanger, in turn, used every press opportunity to push her case for birth control and the importance of engaging in public debate over its impact and effect.
MRS. SANGER WAS FINALLY PERMITTED TO LAND
AFTER INTENSIVE INTERROGATION
Mrs. Sanger, the much-talked-about advocate of birth control, arrived at Yokohama on the steamship Tenyo Maru with Ambassador Kato and his staff [who attended the Washington Naval Conference] at one o'clock yesterday afternoon. Immediately after the arrival, Kanagawa Prefecture's Foreign Affairs Bureau Chief Tate and Interpreter Kimura walked into Mrs. Sanger's first-class cabin, Room 117, locked the door, and started interrogating her. After examining her purpose of visiting Japan, her ideas about birth control, and her personal effects for about twenty minutes, they left the ship, leaving word, "You are not allowed to land now."
Plainly dressed in a yellow and black striped Scotch tweed overcoat, with a thin fur scarf around her neck, the lady of small and thin stature appeared in the corridor, where she saw Baron Keikichi Ishimoto after a long time and shook hands with him as if she was saying, "You are my only support." Baron asked, "Did they permit you to land?" She replied with an anxious look, "It is uncertain." Then he gave her a piece of advice, "Just give clear answers no matter what they ask, show them whatever you have. Getting permission to land is the most important thing." She noted, "Thank you for your advice."
She then introduced him to her second son Grant, who was strong and taller than herself. When Baron told her that "many Japanese people are waiting for you," she said "Oh!" appearing to be very pleased. She continued, "Still, I don't understand why the government interferes so much with me. I talked to almost all Japanese passengers on this ship, but none of them disagreed with my opinion. Mr. Hanihara [Ambassador] called it a theory based on solid scientific grounds."
She spoke briskly, with composure, "Even if there may be minor flaws in my theory, it will generate a number of benefits. I came [to Japan] with determination to land. Consul General Yada [in San Francisco] just mentioned that he had been ordered not to grant me a visa. If I am not allowed to give a talk, I will soon move to China and then to Manila after collecting some research materials." She just smiled and dared not to talk about the content of her theory.
The ship moved steadily and reached the wharf at 4:30 P.M. Ambassador Kato and his staff disembarked, but Mrs. Sanger, her son, Baron Ishimoto, and Mr. Slee, who had accompanied her from the United States, remained on the ship. At 5:00 P.M. Chief Tate showed up again with U.S. Embassy Secretary, informed her of the Foreign Ministry's intentions, and got her agreement that she would not give a lecture [on birth control]. He told her that she would be allowed to land after U.S. Consul General George Skidmore guaranteed [that she would not give a lecture on birth control] and she had her personal effects, books, and other things inspected at the customs office. Ambassador Hanihara told [this reporter], "Don't worry much. She should be able to land. I became close to her on the ship, and she was an admirable woman. She seems to have been always studying in the library, and her theory was impressive."
After interrogating Mrs. Sanger once again, Chief Tate returned to the prefectural office, met the Home Ministry's Police Bureau Head, and went through formalities to permit her to land. At 7:00 P.M., the Chief came back to the ship with U.S. Embassy's Chief Secretary, and after getting Mrs. Sanger's agreement that she would not give a lecture [on birth control], he permitted her to land. After being permitted to land, Mrs. Sanger, her son, and Baron Ishimoto had their baggage inspected at the customs office, and her apparatus for lecture were confiscated. They moved to the Grand Hotel for dinner and took a train bound for Tokyo at 9:00 P.M.