Cabinet of Japan

The Cabinet of Japan (内閣, Naikaku) is the executive branch of the government of Japan. It consists of the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the Emperor after being designated by the National Diet, and up to nineteen other members, called Ministers of State. The Prime Minister is designated by the Diet, and the remaining ministers are appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is collectively responsible to the Diet and must resign if a motion of no confidence is adopted by the Diet.

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Under the constitution, Cabinet ministers are appointed after the selection of the Prime Minister. A majority of the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister, must be members of the Diet, and all members must be civilians. Under the Cabinet Law, the number of Cabinet Ministers (excluding the Prime Minister) must be fourteen or less, but this may be increased to nineteen if a special need arises. In the event that the Cabinet collectively resigns it continues to exercise its functions until the appointment of a new Prime Minister. While they are in office, legal action may not be taken against Cabinet ministers without the consent of the Prime Minister. The Cabinet must resign en masse in the following circumstances:

  • When a motion of no confidence is adopted, or a vote of confidence defeated, by the House of Representatives, unless there is a dissolution of the house within ten days.
  • Upon the first convocation of the Diet after a general election to the House of Representatives (even if the same Prime Minister is to be re-elected and appointed, and every other minister is to be reappointed).
  • When the position Prime Minister becomes vacant, or the Prime Minister declares his intention to resign.


The Cabinet exercises two kinds of power. Some of its powers are nominally exercised by the Emperor with the binding "advice and approval" of the Cabinet. Other powers are explicitly vested in the Cabinet. Contrary to the practice in many constitutional monarchies, the Emperor is not even the nominal Chief Executive. Instead, the Constitution explicitly vests executive authority in the Cabinet. Hence, nearly all of the day-to-day work of governing is done by the Cabinet.

In practice, much of the Cabinet's authority is exercised by the Prime Minister. Under the Constitution, the Prime Minister exercises "control and supervision" over the executive branch, and no law or Cabinet order can take effect without the Prime Minister's countersignature (and the Emperor's promulgation). While Cabinet Ministers in most other parliamentary democracies theoretically have some freedom of action (within the limits of cabinet collective responsibility), the Japanese Cabinet is effectively an extension of the Prime Minister's authority.

Powers exercised via the Emperor

  • Promulgation of amendments to the laws, cabinet orders and treaties.
  • Convocation of the Diet.
  • Dissolution of the House of Representatives.
  • Proclamation of general elections to the Diet.
  • Receiving of foreign ambassadors and ministers.
  • Conferring of honours.

Explicit powers

  • Execution of the law.
  • Conduct of foreign affairs.
  • Conclusion of treaties (with the consent of the Diet).
  • Administration of the civil service.
  • Drafting of the budget (which must be adopted by the Diet).
  • Adoption of cabinet orders.
  • Granting of general amnesty, special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
  • Signing of laws or cabinet orders by the relevant Minister of State and countersigned by the Prime Minister.
  • Appointment of the associate justices of the Supreme Court of Japan (except for the Chief Justice, who is designated by the Prime Minister and formally appointed by the Emperor).
  • Appointment of vice-ministers (who are nominated by their respective Minister to whom they will report).

Current Cabinet of Japan

The members of the current cabinet of Japan headed by the Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Shinzō Abe as of 11 September 2019 are as follows:[1]

Office Incumbent Seat Cabinet appointment
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe House of Representatives, LDP Leader of majority party
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Finance
Minister of State for Financial Services
Minister in charge of Overcoming Deflation
Tarō Asō Retained
Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications
Minister of State for the Social Security and Tax Number System
Sanae Takaichi Reappointed (after period on backbench)
Minister of Justice Masako Mori New appointment
Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi Shuffled (change of portfolio)
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Minister in charge of Education Rebuilding
Kōichi Hagiuda New appointment
Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare
Minister in charge of Working-style Reform
Katsunobu Katō Reappointed
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Taku Etō New appointment
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Minister in charge of Industrial Competitiveness
Minister in charge of International Exposition
Minister of State for Economic Cooperation with Russia
Minister in charge of the Response to the Economic Impact caused by the Nuclear Accident
Minister of State for the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation
Hiroshi Kajiyama New appointment
Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
Minister in charge of Water Cycle Policy
Kazuyoshi Akaba House of Representatives, Komeito New appointment
Minister of the Environment
Minister of State for Nuclear Emergency Preparedness
Shinjirō Koizumi House of Representatives, LDP New appointment
Minister of Defense Tarō Kōno Shuffled
Chief Cabinet Secretary
Minister in charge of Mitigating the Impact of U.S. Forces in Okinawa
Minister in charge of the Abductions Issue
Yoshihide Suga Retained
Minister for Reconstruction
Minister in charge of Comprehensive Policy Coordination for Revival from the Nuclear Accident at Fukushima
Kazunori Tanaka New appointment
Chairperson of the National Public Safety Commission
Minister in charge of Administrative Reform
Minister in charge of Civil Service Reform
Minister in charge of Building National Resilience
Minister of State for Disaster Management
Ryota Takeda New appointment
Minister for Promoting Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens
Minister in charge of Territorial Issues
Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs
Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety
Minister of State for Measures for the Declining Birthrate
Minister of State for Ocean Policy
Seiichi Eto House of Councilors, LDP New appointment
Minister in charge of Information Technology Policy
Minister of State for "Cool Japan" Strategy
Minister of State for the Intellectual Property Strategy
Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy
Minister of State for Space Policy
Naokazu Takemoto House of Representatives, LDP New appointment
Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy
Minister in charge of Social Security Reform
Minister in charge of TPP and Japan-U.S. Trade Negotiations
Yasutoshi Nishimura New appointment
Minister of State for Regional Revitalization
Minister of State for Regulatory Reform
Seigo Kitamura New appointment
Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games
Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment
Minister of State for Gender Equality
Seiko Hashimoto New appointment

See also



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