Prime Minister of Japan
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The (informally referred to as the PMOJ) is the
leader Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and Br ...
of the executive branch of the
government of Japan The is the central government of Japan. The Government of Japan consists of legislature, executive and judiciary branches and is accountable to the Emperor of Japan. The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government, chief executive of t ...
and the chief authority of the National Cabinet. The prime minister is also the chief adviser to the emperor and the
commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Image:CIC-USS-CarlVinson-2001.jpg, A watchstander at her station in the combat information center of USS Carl Vinson, USS ''Carl Vinson'' in the ...
of the
Japan Self-Defense Forces The Japan Self-Defense Forces ( ja, 自衛隊, Jieitai; abbreviated JSDF), also known as the Japanese Armed Forces, are the unified Armed forces, military forces of Japan established in 1954. The self-defence forces consists of the Japan Ground ...
; he is appointed by the
Emperor of Japan The Emperor of Japan is the monarch and the head of the Imperial House of Japan, Imperial Family of Japan. Under the Constitution of Japan, he is defined as the symbol of the Japanese state and the unity of the Japanese people, and his position ...
after being designated by the
National Diet The is Japan's bicameralism, bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house, called the House of Representatives (Japan), House of Representatives (, ''Shūgiin''), and an upper house, the House of Councillors (Japan), House of Councill ...

National Diet
and must enjoy the
confidence Confidence is a state of being clear-headed either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence comes from a Latin word 'fidere' which means "to trust"; therefore, having ...
of the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
to remain in office. He is the head of the
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
and appoints and dismisses the other
ministers of state Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a 'Minister of State' is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister. ...
. The
literal translation Literal translation, direct translation or word-for-word translation, is a translation of a text done by translating each word separately, without looking at how the words are used together in a phrase or sentence. In translation theory, anoth ...
of the Japanese name for the office is Minister for the Comprehensive Administration of (''or'' the Presidency over) the Cabinet. The current prime minister of Japan is
Fumio Kishida is a Japanese politician serving as the Prime Minister of Japan since 4 October 2021. He has also been the president of the Liberal Democratic Party Several political party, political parties from around the world have been called the Liberal ...

Fumio Kishida
, who replaced
Yoshihide Suga is a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan The (informally referred to as the PMOJ) is head A head is the part of an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''o ...

Yoshihide Suga
on 4 October 2021.


History

Before the adoption of the
Meiji Constitution The Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanes ...
, Japan had in practice no written
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
. Originally, a Chinese-inspired legal system known as ''
ritsuryō , , is the historical law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is d ...
'' was enacted in the late
Asuka period The was a period in the history of Japan The first human inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago have been traced to Japanese Paleolithic, prehistoric times around 30,000 BCE. The Jōmon period, named after its cord-marked pottery, was foll ...
and early
Nara period The of the history of Japan The first human inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago have been traced to Japanese Paleolithic, prehistoric times around 30,000 BCE. The Jōmon period, named after its cord-marked pottery, was followed by the Y ...
. It described a government based on an elaborate and rational
meritocratic Meritocracy (''merit'', from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the powe ...
bureaucracy, serving, in theory, under the ultimate authority of the
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...
; although in practice, real power was often held elsewhere, such as in the hands of the
Fujiwara clan #REDIRECT Fujiwara clan#REDIRECT Fujiwara clan was a powerful family of regents in Japan, holding the title of ''Ason'', descending from the Nakatomi clan and through them Ame-no-Koyane, Ame-no-Koyane-no-Mikoto. The Fujiwara prospered since the ...
, who intermarried with the
Imperial Family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest borough of New York City New York City (NYC), often simp ...
in the
Heian period The is the last division of classical History of Japan, Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. It followed the Nara period, beginning when the 50th emperor, Emperor Kanmu, moved the capital of Japan to Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto). It is a pe ...
, or by the ruling ''
shōgun , officially , was the title of the military dictatorship, military dictators of Japan during most of the period spanning from 1185 to 1868. Nominally appointed by the Emperor of Japan, Emperor, shoguns were usually the ''de facto'' rulers of the ...
''. Theoretically, the last ''ritsuryō'' code, the
Yōrō Code The was one iteration of several codes or governing rules compiled in early Nara period The of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Genmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō (present-day Nara, Nara, Nara). E ...
enacted in 752, was still in force at the time of the
Meiji Restoration#REDIRECT Meiji Restoration The , referred to at the time as the , and also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was a political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. Although t ...
. Under this system, the was the head of the ''
Daijō-kan The , also known as the Great Council of State A Council of State is a governmental body in a country, or a subdivision of a country, with a function that varies by jurisdiction. It may be the formal name for the cabinet or it may refer to a non ...
'' (Department of State), the highest organ of Japan's pre-modern Imperial government during the
Heian period The is the last division of classical History of Japan, Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. It followed the Nara period, beginning when the 50th emperor, Emperor Kanmu, moved the capital of Japan to Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto). It is a pe ...
and until briefly under the
Meiji Constitution The Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanes ...
with the appointment of
Sanjō Sanetomi Prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary title, heredita ...
in 1871. The office was replaced in 1885 with the appointment of
Itō Hirobumi Duke A duke (male) can either be a monarch ranked below the emperor, king, and grand duke ruling over a duchy or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank, below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title come ...

Itō Hirobumi
to the new position of Minister President of State, four years before the enactment of the
Meiji Constitution The Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanes ...
, which mentions neither the Cabinet nor the position of Prime Minister explicitly. It took its current form with the adoption of the
Constitution of Japan The Constitution of Japan (Shinjitai are the simplified forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanese syllabic script ...
in 1947. To date, 64 people have served this position. The longest serving prime minister to date is
Shinzō Abe Shinzo Abe (, ''Abe Shinzō''; ; born 21 September 1954) is a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He is the longest-servin ...

Shinzō Abe
, who served as prime minister in two terms: from 26 September 2006 until 26 September 2007, and from 26 December 2012 until 16 September 2020.


Appointment

The prime minister is designated by both houses of the
Diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition) In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for #Health, health or #Weight management, weight-mana ...

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 wants. The candidate is then presented with his or her commission, and formally appointed to office by the
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...
. Conventionally, the prime minister is almost always the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives, or the leader of the senior partner in the governing coalition. But there have been three cabinet prime ministers from junior coalition partners (Ashida 1948, Hosokawa 1993, Murayama 1994), a few
minority government A minority government, minority cabinet, minority administration, or a minority parliament is a and formed in a when a political party or of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the . It is sworn into office, with or without ...
s (most recently the Hata Cabinet in 1994 and at least numerically the Second Hashimoto Cabinet of 1996 during its first year, but with an extra-cabinet cooperation (閣外協力, ''kakugai kyōryoku'') agreement with two parties, sufficient to ensure safe majorities for most government initiatives), and several cabinets with a majority in the House of Representatives, but without legislative majority of their own (most recently the DPJ-led cabinets after the 2010 election; cf. '' Nejire Kokkai''/"twisted Diets").


Qualifications

* Must be a member of either house of the Diet. (This implies a minimum age of 25 and a Japanese nationality requirement.) * Must be a civilian. This excludes serving members of the
Japan Self-Defense Forces The Japan Self-Defense Forces ( ja, 自衛隊, Jieitai; abbreviated JSDF), also known as the Japanese Armed Forces, are the unified Armed forces, military forces of Japan established in 1954. The self-defence forces consists of the Japan Ground ...
. Former military persons may be appointed, with
Yasuhiro Nakasone was a Japanese politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such ...

Yasuhiro Nakasone
being one prominent example.


Role


Constitutional roles

* Exercises "control and supervision" over the entire executive branch. * Presents bills to the Diet on behalf of the Cabinet.Article 72 of the Constitution of Japan * Signs laws and Cabinet orders (along with other members of the Cabinet). * Appoints all Cabinet ministers, and can dismiss them at any time. * May permit legal action to be taken against Cabinet ministers. * Must make reports on domestic and foreign relations to the Diet. * Must report to the Diet upon demand to provide answers or explanations. * May advise the Emperor to dissolve the Diet's House of Representatives.


Statutory roles

* Presides over meetings of the Cabinet. *
Commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Image:CIC-USS-CarlVinson-2001.jpg, A watchstander at her station in the combat information center of USS Carl Vinson, USS ''Carl Vinson'' in the ...
of the
Japan Self-Defense Forces The Japan Self-Defense Forces ( ja, 自衛隊, Jieitai; abbreviated JSDF), also known as the Japanese Armed Forces, are the unified Armed forces, military forces of Japan established in 1954. The self-defence forces consists of the Japan Ground ...
. * May override a court injunction against an administrative act upon showing of cause. Unlike most of his counterparts in constitutional monarchies, the prime minister is both ''de jure'' and ''de facto'' chief executive. In most other constitutional monarchies, the monarch is nominal chief executive, while being bound by convention to act on the advice of the cabinet. In contrast, the Constitution of Japan explicitly vests executive power in the Cabinet, of which the prime minister is the leader. His countersignature is required for all laws and Cabinet orders. While most ministers in parliamentary democracies have some freedom of action within the bounds of
cabinet collective responsibility Cabinet collective responsibility, also known as collective ministerial responsibility, is a in s that members of the must publicly support all governmental decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them. This support i ...
, the Japanese Cabinet is effectively an extension of the prime minister's authority.


Insignia

File:Standard of the Prime Minister of Japan.svg, Standard of the Prime Minister File:Emblem of the Prime Minister of Japan.svg, Seal of the Prime Minister File:Go-shichi no kiri crest 2.svg, Mon (crest) of the Prime Minister


Official office and residence

Located near the Diet building, the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan is called the . The original Kantei served from 1929 until 2002, when a new building was inaugurated to serve as the current Kantei. The old Kantei was then converted into the Official Residence, or . The Kōtei lies to the southwest of the Kantei, and is linked by a walkway.


Travel

The Prime Minister of Japan travels in a Toyota Century, which replaced the Lexus Lexus LS (XF40)#LS 600h, LS 600h L in 2019. For overseas air travel, the Japanese government maintains two Boeing 777, which replaced the Boeing 747-400 also in 2019. The aircraft is also used by the Emperor of Japan, emperor, the members of the Imperial family, and other high-ranking officials. They have the radio callsigns Japanese Air Force One and Japanese Air Force Two when operating on official business, and Cygnus One and Cygnus Two when operating outside of official business (e.g., on training flights). The aircraft always fly together on government missions, with one serving as the primary transport and the other serving as a backup with maintenance personnel on board. The aircraft are officially referred to as .政府専用機にそもそも「専用機材」は必要なのか?
''Newsweek Japan'', Feb 25, 2011.
File:Toyota Century 3rd generation 2017 Tokyo Motor Show front 1.jpg, Toyota Century File:JASDF B777-300ER 80-1111 (4).jpg, Japanese Air Force One


Honours and emoluments

Until the mid-1930s, the prime minister of Japan was normally granted a hereditary peerage (''kazoku'') prior to leaving office if he had not already been ennobled. Titles were usually bestowed in the ranks of count, viscount or baron, depending on the relative accomplishments and status of the prime minister. The two highest ranks, marquess and prince, were only bestowed upon highly distinguished statesmen, and were not granted to a prime minister after 1928. The last prime minister who was a peer was Baron Kijūrō Shidehara, who served as Prime Minister from October 1945 to May 1946. The peerage was abolished when the
Constitution of Japan The Constitution of Japan (Shinjitai are the simplified forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanese syllabic script ...
came into effect in May 1947. Certain eminent prime ministers have been awarded the Order of the Chrysanthemum, typically in the degree of Grand Cordon. The highest honour in the Japanese honours system, the Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum, has only been conferred upon select prime ministers and eminent statesmen; the last such award to a living prime minister was to Saionji Kinmochi in 1928. More often, the Order of the Chrysanthemum has been a posthumous distinction; the Collar of the order was last awarded posthumously to former prime minister
Yasuhiro Nakasone was a Japanese politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such ...

Yasuhiro Nakasone
in November 2019. The Grand Cordon has typically been posthumously awarded; the most recent such award was to Ryutaro Hashimoto in July 2006. After relinquishing office, the prime minister is normally accorded the second or senior third rank in the court order of precedence, and is usually raised to the senior second rank posthumously. Certain distinguished prime ministers have been posthumously raised to the first rank; the last such award was to Sato Eisaku in 1975. Since the 1920s, following their tenure in office, Prime ministers have typically been conferred with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers (until 2003 a special higher class of the Order of the Rising Sun), depending on tenure and eminence. However, honours may be withheld due to misconduct or refusal on the part of the prime minister (for example, Kiichi Miyazawa).


See also

*List of prime ministers of Japan *Air transports of heads of state and government#Japan, Air transports of heads of state and government *Official state car#Japan, Official state car


Notes


References

* ''Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary'', Kenkyusha Limited, Tokyo 1991,


External links


Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
Official website

{{DEFAULTSORT:Prime Minister Of Japan Politics of Japan Prime Ministers of Japan, 1885 establishments in Japan