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The Council of Ministers (カクリョカイギ, 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 powers

State Guest-House Akasaka Palace, Main Entrance-1

Akasaka Palace, house of the Government of Japan

The main function of Council of Ministers is to implement the general state policy. Every Ministers of State (コクムブギョ, 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.

Presidential cabinet

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 (ギョセイイインカイ, 行政委員會 Gyōsei Iinkai). The members of this presidential cabinet are referred as the Administrative Commissioners (ギョセイカン, 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 remain in or do not resign from his/her post. For example, the Minister of Foreign Affairs (ガイムブギョウ, 外務奉行 Gaimu Bugyō) will be called as the "Commissioner for Foreign Affairs" (ガイムギョセイカン, 外務行政官 Gaimu Gyōseikan) instead, while his/her ministry will still be referred as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ガイムブ, 外務部 Gaimu-bu).

List of Prime Ministers of Japan

Name
(Lifespan)
Picture Term start Term end Political Party
1 Inukai Tsuyoshi

イヌカイ ツヨシ
(1855–1936)

Tsuyoshi Inukai facing left February 16, 1919 April 12, 1923 Nationalist Party of Japan
2 Suzuki Bunji

スズキ ブンジ
(1885–1946)

102747 April 12, 1923 April 17, 1925 Non-partisan
3 Nakano Seigo

ナカノ セイゴ
(1885–1958)
(first term)

Seigo Nakano April 17, 1925 June 9, 1933 Nationalist Party of Japan
4 Suzuki Bunji

スズキ ブンジ
(1885–1946)
(second term)

102747 June 9, 1933 August 8, 1937 Nationalist Party of Japan
5 Nakano Seigo

ナカノ セイゴ
(1885–1958)
(second term)

Seigo Nakano August 8, 1937 August 8, 1946 Nationalist Party of Japan
6 Konoe Fumimaro

コノエ フミマロ
(1891–1964)

Fumimaro Konoe 6 August 8, 1946 March 28, 1948 Nationalist Party of Japan
7 Inukai Takeru

イヌカイ タケル
(1896–1960)

Takeru inukai March 28, 1948 January 22, 1950 Nationalist Party of Japan
8 Nakano Seigo

ナカノ セイゴ
(1885–1958)
(third term)

Seigo Nakano January 22, 1950 May 1, 1951 Nationalist Party of Japan
9 Nosaka Sanzō

ノサカ サンゾ
(1892–1993)

Japan Sanzo Nosaka First Secretary Communist Party of Japan Central Committee May 1, 1951 December 26, 1960 Nationalist Party of Japan
10 Asanuma Inejirō

アサヌマ イネジロ
(1898–1971)

23007001390 December 26, 1960 March 24, 1961 Nationalist Party of Japan
11 Nosaka Sanzō

ノサカ サンゾ
(1892–1993)
(second term)

Japan Sanzo Nosaka First Secretary Communist Party of Japan Central Committee March 24, 1961 February 14, 1974 Nationalist Party of Japan
12 Ōhira Masayoshi

ヒラ マサヨシ
(1910-1980)

Masayoshi Ohira 01 March 24, 1974 June 12, 1980 Nationalist Party of Japan

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