The Council of Ministers (ｶｸﾘｮｳｶｲｷﾞ, 閣僚會議 Kakuryō Kaigi) is the highest administrative body of Japan. The Council of Ministers was created following the establishment of Republic of Japan in 1919. The Council of Ministers is presided by the Prime Minister, who assisted by three Deputy Prime Ministers, and consisted by the Ministers of State.
Functions and powersThe main function of Council of Ministers is to implement the general state policy. Every Ministers of State (ｺｸﾑﾌﾞｷﾞｮｳ, 國務奉行 Kokumu Bugyō) are free to carry out their duties as long as in accordance with the general state policy. The Chairman of the Council of Ministers is simply referred as the Prime Minister (ｿｳﾘ, 總理 Sōri).
The Prime Minister is the first among equals among the Ministers of State and has the power to supervise over the national administration, to convene and preside the meetings of Council, and to report the progress of policy implementation before the Legislative Council. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic with the support from at least two-thirds majority in the National Congress. The Akasaka Palace serves as the official building of Japanese government in general and the seat of the Council in particular since 1920.
The composition of Council is proposed by the Committee of Three (ｻﾝｲﾝｶﾝ, 三人官 San'ninkan), which in turn appointed by the President of the Republic from among the National Congress every the start of Congress terms. The Committee of Three consists of candidates of new Prime Minister and two Deputy Prime Ministers. If the proposed composition is failed to get a support from the two-thirds majority in the Congress, the President should form a temporary presidential cabinet until another new cabinet composition is accepted. The Council members must be from and among the member of National Congress.
During the time when the new Council of Ministers has not been approved by the Congress or in a emergency situation, the President may forms a temporary presidential cabinet (ｷﾞｮｳｾｲｲｲﾝｶｲ, 行政委員會 Gyōsei Iinkai). The members of this presidential cabinet are referred as the Administrative Commissioners (ｷﾞｮｳｾｲｶﾝ, 行政官 Gyōseikan) instead of Ministers of State. The presidential cabinet is presided by the Speaker of State Council as the acting prime minister, which directly responsible to President and may includes non-Congress members.
An ordinary cabinet can be transformed as a presidential cabinet in the absence of Prime Minister's position, usually during the transition between two cabinets. In that case, any minister should be referred as "commissioner" in official documents even if the minister remains in or not resigns from his/her post. For example, the Minister of Foreign Affairs (ｶﾞｲﾑﾌﾞｷﾞｮｳ, 外務奉行 Gaimu Bugyō) will be called as the "Commissioner for Foreign Affairs" (ｶﾞｲﾑｷﾞｮｳｾｲｶﾝ, 外務行政官 Gaimu Gyōseikan) instead, while his/her ministry will still be referred as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ｶﾞｲﾑﾌﾞ, 外務部 Gaimu-bu).
List of Prime Ministers of Japan
|Picture||Term start||Term end||Political Party|
|1|| Inukai Tsuyoshi
|February 16, 1919||April 12, 1923||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|2|| Suzuki Bunji
|April 12, 1923||April 17, 1925||Non-partisan|
|3|| Nakano Seigo
|April 17, 1925||June 9, 1933||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|4|| Suzuki Bunji
|June 9, 1933||August 8, 1937||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|5|| Nakano Seigo
|August 8, 1937||August 8, 1946||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|6|| Konoe Fumimaro
|August 8, 1946||March 28, 1948||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|7|| Inukai Takeru
|March 28, 1948||January 22, 1950||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|8|| Nakano Seigo
|January 22, 1950||May 1, 1951||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|9|| Nosaka Sanzō
|May 1, 1951||December 26, 1960||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|10|| Asanuma Inejirō
|December 26, 1960||March 24, 1961||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|11|| Nosaka Sanzō
|March 24, 1961||February 14, 1974||Nationalist Party of Japan|
|12|| Ōhira Masayoshi
|March 24, 1974||June 12, 1980||Nationalist Party of Japan|