Naikaku-shokken (Official Powers of the Cabinet) (内閣職権)

Naikaku-shokken (Official Powers of the Cabinet) is a rule that stipulated duties of the Prime Minister and management of the cabinet in Japan. This rule was established on December 22, 1885. It was abolished in 1889 due to the establishment of the Cabinet Organization Order.

Dajokan tasshi dai 69 go (No.69 of proclamation by the Grand Council of State) in 1885 made the transition from the System of Departments of State to the cabinet system, and the first Ito Cabinet established Naikaku-shokken to lay down Prime Minister's power. Since the Cabinet Organization Order was established in 1889, Naikaku-shokken was abolished.

The major difference from the Cabinet Organization Order established in 1889 is the strength of the Prime Minister's power.

While Naikaku-shokken gave a strong power to the Prime Minister as a leader (shuhan (the head)) of the cabinet, the Cabinet Organization Order conformed the Prime Minister to Ministers of State, making the power of the Prime Minister weaken.

It has been said that this was due to adapting the power of the Prime Minister to Article fifty five of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, "Each Minister of State shall make advices to the Emperor with full responsibility of the results and fulfill its duties."

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Article1: The Cabinet shall be placed under direct control of the Emperor and shall be the place where the Ministers of State fulfill their duty to make advices to the Emperor with respect to the implementation of prerogative.

Article 2: The Prime Minister shall be the head of the Cabinet and indicate the political direction on behalf of the Emperor after informing the Emperor of important political affairs.

Article 3: The Prime Minister shall sum up the Cabinet meeting and arrange its proceedings.

Article 4: The Prime minister shall preside over the entire administration and call for the explanation of the performance of each ministry to review it.

Article 5: Law and imperial edict shall be countersigned by the Prime Minister, and other regulations belonging to administrative affairs of each ministry shall be countersigned by the Prime Minister and the Minister in charge.

Article 6: The appointment and dismissal of each Minister of State shall be stated by the Prime Minister to the Emperor, and the appointment and dismissal of the Prime Minister shall be informed by the head of the Minister of State.

Article7: In case that a Minister of State has an accident, other Minister shall manage administrative affairs under temporary order.

It is known that Japanese constitutionalism before the war was modeled after the German system (former Prussia). However, it has been said that Naikaku-shokken was not based on the cabinet system of German Empire of the time but based on the "Hardenberg governmental regulation" (the governmental regulation in Prussia in 1810) that was affected by the British parliamentary cabinet system. This was a last-ditch measure to realize both establishing the Emperor's authority and preventing the Emperor from directly engaging in the politics. This was because there was the following dilemma behind this background; while the British parliamentary cabinet system itself demanded by the group of the Freedom and People's Rights Movement was denied and the absolutization of the Emperor's power was aimed, the direct introduction of the German Empire's system could lead to 'the direct rule by the emperor,' which was demanded by the conservatives in the Imperial Court who had gained the confidence of the Emperor Meiji at the time, because the authorization of the Emperor under the German Empire's system was so strong.

[Original Japanese]