Prime Minister of Japan

Prime Minister of Japan

Infobox Political post
post = Prime Minister
body = Japan
insignia = Emblem of the Prime Minister of Japan.svg
insigniasize = 150px
insigniacaption = Emblem of the Prime Minister of Japan

incumbent = Taro Aso
incumbentsince = 24 September 2008
style =
appointer = the Diet and the Emperor
termlength =
formation = 22 December 1885
inaugural = Itō Hirobumi
website = []

The nihongo|Prime Minister of Japan|内閣総理大臣|Naikaku sōri daijin is the usual English-language term used for the head of government of Japan, although the literal translation of the Japanese name for the office is "Prime Minister of the Cabinet". The Prime Minister is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members, and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office. The Prime Minister is the head of the Cabinet and appoints and dismisses the Ministers of State. Taro Aso has been the prime minister since 24 September 2008. [cite web|url=,0,1022282.story|title=Taro Aso is named Japan's next prime minister|accessdate=2008-09-24]

The office was created in 1885, four years before the enactment of the Meiji Constitution. It took its current form with the adoption of the current constitution in 1947.


The Prime Minister is designated by both houses of the Diet, before the conduct of any other business. For that purpose, each conducts a ballot under the run-off system. If the two houses choose different individuals, then a joint committee of both houses is appointed to agree on a common candidate. Ultimately, however, if the two houses do not agree within ten days, the decision of the House of Representatives is deemed to be that of the Diet. Therefore, the House of Representatives can theoretically ensure the appointment of any Prime Minister it wishes. [Article 67 of the Constitution of Japan] The candidate is then formally appointed to office by the Emperor. [Article 6 of the Constitution of Japan]

The Prime Minister must resign if the House of Representatives adopts a motion of no confidence or defeats a vote of confidence, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within ten days. [Article 69 of the Constitution of Japan]


Under Article 5 of the Constitution, the Prime Minister exercises "control and supervision" over the entire executive branch. His countersignature is required for all laws and Cabinet orders. [Article 74 of the Constitution of Japan] Unlike most other parliamentary systems, where cabinet ministers theoretically have some freedom of action (within the limits of collective responsibility), the Japanese Cabinet is little more than an extension of the Prime Minister's authority.

The Prime Minister appoints all Cabinet ministers, and can dismiss them at any time. [Article 68 of the Constitution of Japan] He can also permit legal action to be taken against them. [Article 75 of the Constitution of Japan] He also must make reports on domestic and foreign relations to the Diet. [Article 72 of the Constitution of Japan] Under the Self-Defense Forces Act of 1954, the Prime Minister is commander in chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces.



After the Meiji Restoration, the Daijō-kan system, which was used in the Nara period, was adopted as the Japanese government entity. Political powers of their leader, Daijō Daijin and his aids, Sadaijin and Nadaijin were ambiguous and frequently conflicted with other positions such as Sangi. In the 1880s, Itō Hirobumi, then one of Sangi, started to examine the reformation of the governmental organization. In 1882, Ito and his staff, Ito Miyoji and Saionji Kinmochi, traveled to Europe and investigated constitutions in constitutional monarchies, the British Empire and the German Empire. After his return to Japan, Ito urged the need of a Constitution and a modern governmental system and persuaded conservatives to approve his plan.

On 22 December 1885, in the Daijō-kan order No. 69, abolition of Daijō-kan and the induction of the Prime Minister (内閣総理大臣) and his cabinet were published.

Official office and residence

The Office of the Prime Minister of Japan is called the "Kantei" (官邸). The original Kantei served from 1929 until 2002. A new building was inaugurated at this time and now serves as the new Kantei. [cite news |first=Hiroko |last=Nakata |coauthors= |title=The prime minister's official hub |date=2007-03-06 |publisher=The Japan Times |url= |work=The Japan Times Online |pages= |accessdate=2007-10-21 |language=] The old Kantei was then converted to the new official residence, or "Kōtei" (公邸). [ cite web|url= |title=A virtual tour of the former Kantei - Annex etc. - The Residential Area |accessdate=2007-10-21 |publisher=Prime Minister of Japan ]

Living former Japanese Prime Ministers

* Yasuhiro Nakasone (born 27 May 1918)
* Toshiki Kaifu (born 2 January 1931)
* Morihiro Hosokawa (born 14 January 1938)
* Tsutomu Hata (born 24 August 1935)
* Tomiichi Murayama (born 3 March 1924)
* Yoshiro Mori (born 14 July 1937)
* Jun'ichirō Koizumi (born 8 January 1942)
* Shinzō Abe (born 21 September 1954)
* Yasuo Fukuda (born 16 July 1936)

ee also

*List of Prime Ministers of Japan
*Politics of Japan
*History of Japan
*Parliamentary system


External links

* [ Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet] . Official website.
*jp icon [ List of Japanese cabinets 1885 to 1989] .

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Prime minister — This article is about the government position. For other uses, see Prime Minister (disambiguation). A Prime Minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. The position is usually… …   Wikipedia

  • prime minister — prime ministerial /pruym min euh stear ee euhl/, adj. prime ministership, n. prime ministry. the principal minister and head of government in parliamentary systems; chief of the cabinet or ministry: the British prime minister. [1640 50] * * * or… …   Universalium

  • Hikari Ota's If I Were Prime Minister... Secretary Tanaka — Prime Minister Ōta Hikari Ōta s If I Were Prime Minister of Japan... Secretary Tanaka (太田光の私が総理大臣になったら…秘書田中。, Ōta Hikari no Watashi ga Sōridaijin ni Nattara... Hisho Tanaka …   Wikipedia

  • Deputy prime minister — A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president …   Wikipedia

  • List of Prime Ministers of Japan — This is a list of Prime Ministers of Japan, and its predecessor state the Empire of Japan, from when the first Prime Minister (in the modern sense), Hirobumi Itō, took office in 1885, until the present day. The office is currently held by Taro… …   Wikipedia

  • Curtin, Prime Minister John — 1885–1945    Curtin was Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 until shortly before the end of the war. As leader of the Australian Labor Party he had opposed conscription in the early days of the war and had resisted offers to join in a National… …   Who’s Who in World War Two

  • Joseph Howard (Prime Minister) — Joseph Howard, OBE (1862 ndash;20 May 1925) was Prime Minister of Malta from 1921 to 1923.Born in Valletta, Malta s first Prime Minister under the Colonial Government, Joseph Howard was educated at the Lyceum and abroad and served as an officer… …   Wikipedia

  • Suzuki, Prime Minister Kantaro — 1867–1948    Suzuki was an anti militarist and symbol of peace who led the Japanese peace seeking Cabinet from April 1945 until the end of the war. A veteran of Korea in the 1890s and of the Russo Finnish War, Suzuki was already in retirement by… …   Who’s Who in World War Two

  • Japan–Korea disputes — Japanese Korean disputes …   Wikipedia

  • Japan — This article is about the country. For other uses, see Japan (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”