Cabinet of Japan

The Japanese Cabinet (Japanese内阁, Naikaku ) is the Government of the Japanese central government. It consists of the Prime Minister of Japan and up to 14 other members, all 15 as Minister of State (国务 大臣, kokumu daijin ) are referred to. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Japanese parliament, the other ministers are appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet as a whole is accountable to Parliament and must resign if a no-confidence vote in the House is successful, a vote of confidence there is no majority, the prime minister is permanently prevented the official guidance, or after an election to the House of the Parliament convenes for the first time. However, the Cabinet who leads even after the resignation further provisionally, until a new prime minister is appointed.

Currently ruled the Abe Cabinet Cabinet Shinzō II by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It came after the election on December 16, 2012 to office.

The modern Japanese Cabinet finds its basis in Articles 65 and 75 of the Japanese Constitution of 1947. However, a Cabinet already existed under the Constitution of the Japanese Empire from 1889 to 1946 and without a constitution since 1885, when the old Dajōkan - government system was abandoned. This was subordinate to the Emperor of Japan.

  • 3.1 Empire of Japan
  • 3.2 State of Japan


Under the Constitution, the Minister of State shall be appointed at the discretion of the Prime Minister of this. The Prime Minister is elected by Parliament and then appointed by the Emperor. If the House of Lords and House of Commons select different candidates go after an unsuccessful mediation in the Conciliation Committee, the will of the House (Article 67 of the Constitution ).

A majority of the Cabinet including the Prime Minister must be a member of either House of Parliament. All members must be civilians. Under the Cabinet Act of 2001, the number of government ministers must be (other than the Prime Minister ) 14 or less, in special cases, the number may be increased to 17. In the case of a collective resignation of the Cabinet this office until the appointment of a new cabinet by a newly-appointed Prime Minister by Parliament on. During her tenure, the cabinet members enjoy legal immunity as long as the Prime Minister of a legal prosecution does not consent in individual cases.

The Cabinet must resign under the following conditions:

  • When passing a vote of no confidence or a defeat in a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives, if this does not resolve itself within ten days after the vote.
  • At the first convocation of the parliament, after general elections to the House of Representatives, even if all the ministers are subsequently re-appointed at the meeting.
  • When the position of Prime Minister is vacant or the Prime Minister announced his intention to withdraw letter of intent.


The Cabinet exerts two types of powers. Some powers are exercised nominally by the Emperor with "advice and confirmation " of the Cabinet. However, in practice the decisions of the Cabinet are binding for the emperor.

Other powers exerts a Cabinet of itself. In contrast to the practice in many constitutional monarchies, the Emperor of Japan is not the nominal head of the executive branch in the state. This function is performed by the constitution of the Cabinet.

Powers that are exercised in the name of the Emperor

  • Parliament convened.
  • Resolution of the House of Representatives.
  • Proclamation of general election.
  • Conferring honors.

Own powers

These arise from Articles 72 and 73 of the Constitution.

  • Execution of the laws.
  • Exercise of foreign relations.
  • Conclusion of international treaties with the consent of Parliament.
  • Management of the civil administration.
  • Draft budget ( which must then be approved by Parliament ).
  • Adoption of legal regulations.
  • Granting general amnesty, special amnesty, conversion of punishment, reprieve, and re-establishment of civil rights.

Each ordinance and each law are under - and countersigned by the relevant competent Minister of State by the Prime Minister.

Historical cabinets

Empire of Japan

Note: Formal cabinets in the Empire of the Tennō were responsible and thus not bound by parliamentary majorities, thus not to government parties in the strict sense. In the list, the parties supporting the government are for orientation but may be specified, especially as developed approaches parliamentary accountability of the Cabinet during the so-called Taishō democracy.

State Japan


  • Kantei, Japanese Cabinet :阁僚 名簿 等(Japanese)