Privy Council of Japan
The Privy Council of Japan was an advisory council to the Emperor of Japan that operated from 1888 to 1947. Modeled in part upon the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, this body advised the throne on matters of grave importance including: proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Empire of Japan proposed amendments to the 1889 Imperial Household Law matters of constitutional interpretation, proposed laws, ordinances proclamations of martial law or declaration of war treaties and other international agreements matters concerning the succession to the throne declarations of a regency under the Imperial Household Law. On the advice of the cabinet; the Privy Council had certain executive functions. However, the council had no power to initiate legislation; the Privy Council of Japan was established by an imperial ordinance of Emperor Meiji dated 28 April 1888, under the presidency of Itō Hirobumi, to deliberate on the draft constitution. The new constitution, which the emperor promulgated on 11 February 1889 mentioned the Privy Council in Chapter 4, Article 56: "The Privy Councilors shall, in accordance with the provisions for the organization of the Privy Council, deliberate upon important matters of State when they have been consulted by the Emperor."
The Privy Council consisted of a chairman, a vice chairman, twelve councilors, a chief secretary, three additional secretaries. All privy councilors including the president and the vice president were appointed by the emperor for life, on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. In addition to the twenty-four voting privy counselors, the prime minister and the other ministers of state were ex officio members of the council; the princes of the imperial household over the age of majority were permitted to attend meetings of the Privy Council and could participate in its proceedings. The president had extraordinary power, as it was he who called and controlled the meetings of the Council; the Council always met in secret at the Tokyo Imperial Palace, with the emperor in attendance on important occasions. The Council was empowered to deliberate on any matters upon. Assessments on the importance of the Privy Council vary from claims that it was the single most powerful agency in the Meiji government, to allegations that it was insignificant in terms of national politics.
During its early years, many members of the Privy Council were members of the elected government. After the Privy Council challenged the government by attempting to reject several government decisions, by attempting to assert itself on certain foreign policy issues, it became clear that the balance of power was with the elected government; the Privy Council was thenceforth ignored, it was not consulted when Japan decided to attack the United States in 1941. The Privy Council was abolished with the enforcement of the current postwar Constitution of Japan on 3 May 1947. Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan Beasley, William G.. The Rise of Modern Japan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23373-6. Colgrove, Kenneth W.. The Japanese Privy Council. ASIN: B00086SR24. Gordon, Andrew. A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511061-7. Jansen, Marius B.. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347; the Japan Yearbook.
Tokyo: The Japan Year Book Office..
The National Diet is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house called the House of Representatives, an upper house, called the House of Councillors. Both houses of the Diet are directly elected under parallel voting systems. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally responsible for selecting the Prime Minister; the Diet was first convened as the Imperial Diet in 1889 as a result of adopting the Meiji Constitution. The Diet took its current form in 1947 upon the adoption of the post-war constitution, which considers it the highest organ of state power; the National Diet Building is in Nagatachō, Tokyo. The houses of the Diet are both elected under parallel voting systems; this means that the seats to be filled in any given election are divided into two groups, each elected by a different method. Voters are asked to cast two votes: one for an individual candidate in a constituency, one for a party list. Any national of Japan at least 18 years of age may vote in these elections.
The age of 18 replaced 20 in 2016. Japan's parallel voting system is not to be confused with the Additional Member System used in many other nations; the Constitution of Japan does not specify the number of members of each house of the Diet, the voting system, or the necessary qualifications of those who may vote or be returned in parliamentary elections, thus allowing all of these things to be determined by law. However it does guarantee universal adult suffrage and a secret ballot, it insists that the electoral law must not discriminate in terms of "race, sex, social status, family origin, property or income". The election of Diet members is controlled by statutes passed by the Diet; this is a source of contention concerning re-apportionment of prefectures' seats in response to changes of population distribution. For example, the Liberal Democratic Party had controlled Japan for most of its post-war history, it gained much of its support from rural areas. During the post-war era, large numbers of people were relocating to the urban centers in the seeking of wealth.
The Supreme Court of Japan began exercising judicial review of apportionment laws following the Kurokawa decision of 1976, invalidating an election in which one district in Hyōgo Prefecture received five times the representation of another district in Osaka Prefecture. The Supreme Court has since indicated that the highest electoral imbalance permissible under Japanese law is 3:1, that any greater imbalance between any two districts is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. In recent elections the malapportionment ratio amounted to 4.8 in the House of Councillors and 2.3 in the House of Representatives. Candidates for the lower house must be 25 years old or older and 30 years or older for the upper house. All candidates must be Japanese nationals. Under Article 49 of Japan's Constitution, Diet members are paid about ¥1.3 million a month in salary. Each lawmaker is entitled to employ three secretaries with taxpayer funds, free Shinkansen tickets, four round-trip airplane tickets a month to enable them to travel back and forth to their home districts.
Article 41 of the Constitution describes the National Diet as "the highest organ of State power" and "the sole law-making organ of the State". This statement is in forceful contrast to the Meiji Constitution, which described the Emperor as the one who exercised legislative power with the consent of the Diet; the Diet's responsibilities include not only the making of laws but the approval of the annual national budget that the government submits and the ratification of treaties. It can initiate draft constitutional amendments, which, if approved, must be presented to the people in a referendum; the Diet may conduct "investigations in relation to government". The Prime Minister must be designated by Diet resolution, establishing the principle of legislative supremacy over executive government agencies; the government can be dissolved by the Diet if it passes a motion of no confidence introduced by fifty members of the House of Representatives. Government officials, including the Prime Minister and Cabinet members, are required to appear before Diet investigative committees and answer inquiries.
The Diet has the power to impeach judges convicted of criminal or irregular conduct. In most circumstances, in order to become law a bill must be first passed by both houses of the Diet and promulgated by the Emperor; this role of the Emperor is similar to the Royal Assent in some other nations. The House of Representatives is the more powerful chamber of the Diet. While the House of Representatives cannot overrule the House of Councillors on a bill, the House of Councillors can only delay the adoption of a budget or a treaty, approved by the House of Representatives, the House of Councillors has no power at all to prevent the lower house from selecting any Prime Minister it wishes. Furthermore, once appointed it is the confidence of the House of Representatives alone that the Prime Minister must enjoy in order to continue in office; the House of Representatives can overrule the upper house in the following circumstances: If a bill is adopted by the House of Representatives and either rejected, amended or not approved within 60 days by th
Privy Seal of Japan
The Privy Seal of Japan is one of the national seals and is the Emperor of Japan's official seal. It is cubic, its inscription 天皇御璽 is written in seal script, it has two lines of vertical writing, with the right-hand side containing the characters 天皇, on the left-hand side containing the characters 御璽. The seal is printed on Imperial rescripts, proclamation of sentences of laws, cabinet orders, instruments of ratification, ambassadors' credentials and their dismissal documents, documents of general power of attorney, consular commissions, letters authorizing foreign consuls, letters of appointment or dismissal of government officials, whose appointment requires the Emperor's attestation, appointment documents and documents of the Prime Minister and Chief Justice, their respective dismissals; the history of the Privy Seal of Japan dates back to the Nara period. Although it was made from copper, it was manufactured from stone in 1868 and was made from pure gold; the present Privy Seal is about 3 sun in size and weighs 4.5 kg.
The master-hand of the seal was Abei Rekido of Kyoto. He was commissioned to manufacture the State Seal of Japan within one year, in 1874; when not in use, the seal is kept in a leather bag. The seal is used with special cinnabar seal ink specially made by the National Printing Bureau. If the State Seal or the Privy Seal are illegally reproduced, the penalty is at least two years or more of terminable penal servitude according to the first clause of Article 164 of the Criminal Code of Japan. National seals of Japan Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan Heirloom Seal of the Realm Emperor Showa signing documents and using the State and Privy Seal of Japan
Prince Fushimi Sadanaru
Prince Fushimi Sadanaru was the 22nd head of the Fushimi-no-miya shinnōke. He was a field marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army. Prince Sadanaru was born in Kyoto as the fourteenth son of Prince Fushimi Kuniie and the second son of Princess Takatsukasa Hiroko, he succeeded his father as the head of the Fushimi-no-miya family in 1875. In 1872, Prince Fushimi Sadanaru married Princess Arisugawa Toshiko, the daughter of Prince Arisugawa Takahito, with whom he had two sons. Two concubines bore Prince Princess Sachiko respectively. Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu Prince Fushimi Kunika Prince Fushimi Akinori Princess Fushimi Sachiko. Prince Kunika would become the legitimate heir to his father, due to his illness, Fushimi-no-miya was succeeded by his elder half-brother, Prince Hiroyasu. A career army officer, Prince Sadanaru entered the military academy in 1873 and fought as a lieutenant in the Satsuma Rebellion. Promoted to captain in 1878, he studied military tactics at the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr in France and in Germany in the 1870s.
Upon his return to Japan, he was promoted to major in 1881 and advocated the establishment of a Japanese version of an army General Staff based on the Prussian model. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1884, colonel in 1887 and to major general in 1889, he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum in 1886. Major General Prince Fushimi Sadanaru served as a field commander in the First Sino-Japanese War, commanding the IJA 4th Division, landing with his forces in the Liaodong Peninsula, China in 1894, he subsequently participated in the 1895 Japanese invasion of Taiwan. He represented Emperor Meiji at the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia on May 26, 1896. In 1898, he was promoted to lieutenant general and assigned command of the Himeji-based IJA 10th Division. In 1901, he became commander of the IJA 1st Division. In 1904, with the start of the Russo-Japanese War he again landed with his forces in the Liaodong Peninsula. In June, he was promoted to full general, recalled to Japan to serve on the Supreme War Council, before being sent by Emperor Meiji on a diplomatic mission to the United States.
After the conclusion of the Treaty of Portsmouth, he was sent to England again on a mission of thanks from the Japanese government for British advice and assistance during the war. During this mission, he stopped in Honolulu for a visit with the Japanese community there. In 1909, he was again sent on this time to China. Prince Fushimi represented Japan at the state funeral of Great Britain's King Edward VII May 20, 1910, he met with the new King George V at Buckingham Palace. Prince Fushimi was a close advisor to then-Crown Prince Yoshihito. After the death of Emperor Meiji in 1911, he served as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan from 1912 to 1915, thus becoming the only imperial prince to have served in that office, he was promoted to the ceremonial rank of field marshal in 1915, awarded the Grand Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum in 1916. The Prince died of influenza on February 5, 1923 at his vacation home in Cape Inubō and was accorded a state funeral. Dowager Princess Fushimi Toshiko died on January 3, 1930.
He was succeeded by Fleet Admiral Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu. His Japanese decorations include the Collar and Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Order of the Golden Kite. In addition, other honors and decorations included: Order of the Bath, Hon. Knight Grand Cross, 1907. Order of St. Andrew, 1910. Dupuy, Trevor N.. Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3. Jansen, Marius B. and Gilbert Rozman, eds.. Japan in Transition: from Tokugawa to Meiji. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691054599; the Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347. Japanese Students at Cambridge University in the Meiji Era, 1868-1912: Pioneers for the Modernization of Japan. Lulu.com. ISBN 1-4116-1256-6. Takenobu, Yoshitaro.. The Japan Year Book. Tokyo: Japan Year Book Office. OCLC 1771764 Media related to Prince Fushimi Sadanaru at Wikimedia Commons
Count Makino Nobuaki was a Japanese statesman, active from the Meiji period through the Pacific War. Born to a samurai family in Kagoshima, Satsuma Domain, Makino was the second son of Ōkubo Toshimichi, but adopted into the Makino family at a early age. In 1871, at age 11, he accompanied Ōkubo on the Iwakura Mission to the United States as a student, attended school in Philadelphia. After he returned to Japan, he left without graduating. Makino entered the Foreign Ministry. Assigned to the Japanese London Embassy, he made the acquaintance of Itō Hirobumi. After serving as governor of Fukui Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture, Ambassador to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Ambassador to Italy, he served as Minister of Education under the 1st Saionji Cabinet, as Minister of Agriculture and Commerce under the 2nd Saionji Cabinet, he was appointed to serve on the Privy Council. Under the 1st Yamagata Cabinet, he was appointed Foreign Minister. Makino aligned his policies with Itō Hirobumi and with Saionji Kinmochi, was considered one of the early leaders of the Liberalism movement in Japan.
He was appointed to be one of Japan's ambassador plenipotentiaries to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, headed by the former Prime Minister Saionji. Makino was de facto chief. Makino and his delegation put forth a racial equality proposal at the conference. In 1907, Makino elevated in rank to danshaku under the kazoku peerage system. In 1913, Makino became Minister of Foreign Affairs. On September 20, 1920, he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers. In February 1921, he elevated in rank to shishaku. Behind the scenes, he strove to improve Anglo-Japanese and Japanese-American relations, he shared Saionji Kinmochi's efforts to shield the Emperor from direct involvement in political affairs. In 1925, he was appointed Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan, he was elevated in the title to hakushaku. Although he relinquished his positions, his relations with Emperor Shōwa remained good, he still had much power and influence behind the scenes; this made him a target for the militarists, he narrowly escaped assassination at his villa in Yugawara during the February 26 Incident in 1936.
He continued to be an advisor and exert a moderating influence on the Emperor until the start of World War II. Makino was the first president of the Nihon Ki-in Go Society, a fervent player of the game of go. After the war, his reputation as an "old liberalist" gave him high credibility, the politician Ichirō Hatoyama attempted to recruit him to the Liberal Party as its chairman. However, Makino declined for reasons of age, he died in 1949, his grave is at the Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo. Noted post-war Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida was Makino's son-in-law. One of his grandchildren Ken `; the former Prime Minister, Tarō Asō, is Makino's great-grandson. His great-granddaughter, Nobuko Asō, married Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, a first cousin of Emperor Akihito. In addition, Ijūin Hikokichi, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, was the brother-in-law of Makino. 1925: Grand Cordon Order of Leopold. Agawa, Hiroyuki; the Reluctant Admiral: Yamamoto and the Imperial Navy. Kodansha International. ISBN 4-7700-2539-4 Beasley, W. G. Japanese Imperialism 1894–1945.
Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822168-1 Makino, Nobuaki. Makino Nobuaki nikki. Chūō Kōronsha. ISBN 4-12-001977-2 Media related to Makino Nobuaki at Wikimedia Commons
Kōichi Kido served as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan from 1940 to 1945, was the closest advisor to Emperor Showa throughout World War II. He was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment of which he served 6 years before being released in 1953. Kōichi Kido was born in July 18, 1889 in Akasaka, Tokyo to Sueko Yamao, he was the grand-nephew of one of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration. After graduating from the Gakushuin Peer’s School in Tokyo, he went to the law school of Kyoto University, where Marxist economist Hajime Kawakami was one of his professors. After graduation in 1915, he held numerous minor bureaucratic posts in the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, followed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Together with Shinji Yoshino and Nobusuke Kishi, he was one of the architects of the Strategic Industries Control Act on 1931, which set the stage for state control of numerous industries during the increasing militarization of Japan in the 1930s. Kido became chief secretary of the Home Ministry in 1930.
When his long-time friend Fumimaro Konoe became Prime Minister of Japan in 1937, Kido was named Minister of Education. From January 1938, he concurrently held the post of Minister of Welfare. In January 1939, Kido was appointed Home Minister in the Hiranuma Cabinet; as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan from 1940, Kido became one of the most influential advisors to Emperor Hirohito following the death of Saionji Kinmochi. He recommended to Hirohito that Konoe succeed Mitsumasa Yonai for a second term as Prime Minister of Japan and was active with Konoe in the movement to replace the existing political parties with the Taisei Yokusankai to form a single party state. In 1941, Kido recommended that Hideki Tōjō become Prime Minister after Konoe’s third term in office, as being one of the few people eligible who might be able to maintain control over more radical elements within the Imperial Japanese Army. However, Kido remained one of the more cautious advisors to Hirohito at the beginning of World War II, is known to have advised the emperor against attacking the Dutch East Indies in 1941, explaining that such an attack might provoke the United States into war, that any oil obtained by taking the East Indies would still have to be transported, would be subject to blockades and attacks by plane and submarine.
Kido claimed after the war that Hirohito was never aware of the plans to attack Pearl Harbor until after the attack occurred. As the war situation deteriorated for Japan, Kido was one of the chief advocates of a negotiated peace, Kido is credited with convincing the government to accept the Potsdam Declaration and surrender, he convinced the emperor that it would be necessary to deliver a personal speech in order to ensure that all civilians and soldiers would cease fighting. He was one of the principal targets for assassination during the Kyūjō Incident in the final days of the war. Kido was not only the chief advisor to the emperor, he advised General MacArthur on many aspects of the logistics surrounding the surrender, the end of the war, the Occupation of Japan. One of his chief motives was to protect the honor of the emperor. In the International Military Tribunal for the Far East held in Tokyo after the war, Kido was charged as a Class A War Criminal, he attempted to plead guilty in order to protect the emperor by taking all responsibility for imperial decisions advocating war unto himself.
His personal diary, kept in detail since 1930, was voluntarily turned over to the prosecution, became an important document in determining the internal workings of the Japanese government during the war and was cited by the prosecution as evidence against the defendants, including Kido himself. Kido was found guilty of Counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32, was sentenced to life imprisonment in Sugamo Prison, Tokyo. In 1951, as the Occupation of Japan was ending, Kido sent a message to the emperor, advising him as he had advised three years earlier, to accept responsibility for the defeat and abdicate, at the end of the American Occupation. In addition, Kido opposed the idea of continuing to punish war criminals under Japanese law after the end of the American Occupation. According to his diary, "those called war criminals by the enemy's standards those in responsible positions, were all performing loyal duties, to punish them in the name of the emperor would be unbearable". In 1953, due to health problems, Kido was released from prison.
He had a flat in Tokyo's Aoyama. He died at age 87 of cirrhosis of the liver at the Imperial Household Agency hospital in Tokyo in 1977, his grave is at the Tama Cemetery in Tokyo. Kido was married to the daughter of General Kodama Gentaro, he had one daughter. Bix, Herbert P. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093130-2 Dower, John W. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Yagami, Kazuo. Konoe Fumimaro and the Failure of Peace in Japan, 1937-1941. McFarland ISBN 0786422424 Wetzler. Peter. Hirohito and War: Imperial Tradition and Military Decision Making in Prewar Japan. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 082481925X Finn,Richard B. Winners in Peace: MacArthur and Postwar Japan. University of California Press ISBN 0520069099 Annotated bibliography for Koichi Kido from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues Tama Cemetery
Count Hirata Tosuke was a Japanese statesman and Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan, active in the Meiji and Taishō period Empire of Japan. Hirata was born in Dewa Province as the son of a local samurai, he was sent by the domain to Edo for studies, subsequently fought in the Boshin War on the side of the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei. After the Meiji Restoration, was ordered by the domain to go to Tokyo and study at the Daigaku Nankō. After graduating, he was a student member of the Iwakura Mission of 1871 along with Makino Nobuaki, he stayed in Germany to study at Heidelberg University and Leipzig University. He is the first Japanese with a doctorate degree. Hirata returned to Japan in 1876 and served in a number of posts in the new Meiji government's Ministry of Finance, became Documentation Bureau Director of the Grand Council and Legislation Bureau Director. In 1890, he was selected as a member of the House of Peers of the new Diet of Japan by Imperial command, he successively held important posts including chief secretary of the Privy Council, director-general of the Legislation Bureau and Commerce Minister in the first Katsura cabinet, Home Minister in the second Katsura cabinet, provisionary Diplomatic Investigation Board member, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan.
Hirata was very active in the movement of local agricultural reforms, an industrial cooperative program, poverty relief projects, striving to protect the local country people against the inflationary economy after the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. Bix, Herbert P. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093130-2 Duus, Peter; the Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895-1910. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21361-0. Sims, Richard. Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868-2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7