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Cabinet System of Japan

(3) Functions of the Cabinet

The Cabinet shall perform its duties as prescribed by various ordinances and the Constitution, and the Cabinet shall perform its function through Cabinet Meetings (Article 4 of The Cabinet Law).

(a) Functions as an Advisory Organ to the Emperor

Article 3 of the Constitution stipulates that the advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and the Cabinet shall be responsible for that purpose.
The State duties of the Emperor are given as follows:

  • The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet
  • The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet
  • Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, laws, cabinet orders and treaties
  • Convocation of the Diet
  • Dissolution of the House of Representatives
  • Proclamation of election of members of the Diet
  • Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law
  • Attestation of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers
  • Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights
  • Awarding of honors
  • Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law
  • Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers
  • Performance of ceremonial functions
(b) Functions as the Organ of Administrative Power

Article 73 of the Constitution stipulates that the Cabinet shall perform the following seven administrative functions, in addition to other general administrative functions:

  • Administer the law faithfully; conduct affairs of state
  • Manage foreign affairs
  • Conclude treaties
  • Administer the civil service, in accordance with standards established by law
  • Prepare the budget, and present it to the Diet
  • Enact cabinet orders in order to execute the provisions of this Constitution and of the law
  • Decide on general amnesty, special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights
Besides Article 73, the Cabinet is also empowered in the following articles of the Constitution:

  • The Chief Judge of the Supreme Court shall be designated by the Cabinet (Article 6)
  • All judges excepting the Chief Judge shall be appointed by the Cabinet (Articles 79 and 80)
  • The Cabinet may determine to convoke extraordinary sessions of the Diet. (Article 53)
  • The Prime Minister, representing the Cabinet, submits bills to the Diet. (Article 72)
  • The Cabinet may in time of national emergency convoke the House of Councillors in emergency session. (Article 54)
  • In order to provide for unforeseen deficiencies in the budget, a reserve fund may be authorized by the Diet to be expended upon the responsibility of the Cabinet. (Article 87)
  • Final accounts of the expenditures and revenues of the State shall be audited annually by a Board of Audit and submitted by the Cabinet to the Diet, together with the statement of audit, during the fiscal year immediately following the period covered. (Article 90)
  • At regular intervals and at least annually the Cabinet shall report to the Diet and the people on the state of national finances. (Article 91)

Convening of the national congress and offering the Cabinet decision
From left to right are a record of cabinet decision on convocation of extraordinary session of the Diet, a proclamation by the Emperor and an official gazette.