“…we can deplore,” the radio, the voice of the little yellow-bellies from Tokyo was saying. God, Frink thought; and we called them monkeys, these civilized bandy-legged shrimps who would no more set up gas ovens than they would melt their wives into sealing wax. “…and we have deplored often in the past the dreadful waste of humans in this fanatical striving which sets the broader mass of men wholly outside the legal community.” They, the Japs, were so strong on law. “…To quote a Western saint familiar to all: ‘What profit it a man if he gain the whole world but in this enterprise lose his soul?’ ” The radio paused. Frink, tying his tie, also paused. It was the morning ablution.
I'm trying to improve my English by reading some literature. I've thought of posting this in the English board, but I think I understand the sentence correctly, which means the Japanese would rather melt their wives into sealing wax than set up gas oven. It just doesn't make sense. It seems related to some rumors about the Japanese in the author's time. I did a brief googling about "melt wife into sealing wax" but found nothing.