Cabinet Decisions refer to decisions made by the cabinet as a panel at cabinet meetings.
This webpage briefly describes the decision-making process at cabinet meetings and introduces how to search for Cabinet Decisions. In addition, Searching Cabinet Decisions, etc. and Cabinet Decisions in the early Showa era and their texts in Research Navi indicate how to search for Cabinet Decisions and Related Links in Japanese.
1. Cabinet Meetings
Cabinet meetings are held for cabinet decision-making. Those meetings are chaired by the Prime Minister. All Ministers of State including the Prime Minister attend. At present, Cabinet Meetings are held twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) in the Prime Minister's Office or in the National Diet Building during a session of the Diet (Regular Cabinet Meetings). In addition, Extraordinary Cabinet Meetings are held to deal urgently with important matters. Matters discussed at Cabinet Meetings include:
- General Matters
Basically important matters that require a Diet decision.
- Matters to be introduced in the Diet
Matters to be introduced in and reported to the Diet based on laws.
- Promulgation of Laws and Treaties
For the Emperor's promulgation, the cabinet advises and approves the laws passed or treaties ratified by the Diet.
- Legislative Bills
Bills submitted by the Cabinet to the Diet.
- Government Orders
Decision of Government Orders. In addition, the Cabinet advises and approves the Emperor's promulgation of government orders.
Publication of key research results on the national politics, matters which are regarded as appropriate to be reported at cabinet meetings including various councils' reports.
Distribution of materials at the cabinet meetings.
In addition, personnel affairs as well as conferment of Court ranks and decorations are decided at the cabinet meetings.
2. Search for Cabinet Decisions
The government originally has no obligation to disclose cabinet decisions. Also, the text of cabinet decisions will not be delivered to the National Diet Library as it is not a publication, but an administrative document. Cabinet decisions, however, have come to be disclosed on the Internet given the promotion of government information disclosure.
The following part introduces how to search for cabinet decisions' text from information of websites and publications in chronological order.
National Archives of Japan Digital Archive （How to search）
National Archives of Japan posseses Kobunruishu,（1882-1950）, Kobunzassan（1888-1945）and Kobunbetsuroku（1868-1947）, which are compilations of administrative documents from the Meiji era to the early Showa era. In addition, it holds materials of the cabinet meetings/ administrative vice-ministers' conferences, etc.（1946-）, which contains post-war materials of the cabinet meetings and administrative vice-ministers' conferences by order of dates. Subject list of documents up to 1955 has been provided and the text images are disclosed on the Internet.
National Diet Library Research Navi Cabinet Decisions in the early Showa era and their texts（Japanese）
Materials that record subjects and text of Cabinet Decisions and Cabinet Approvals in the early Showa era (1927-1963) which were excerpted from the NDL collections; however, those materials do not include all Cabinet decisions, etc. For details, please refer to Explanatory notes（Japanese）.
Subject list of the cabinet meetings and administrative vice-ministers' conferences, etc. （irector-General of Cabinet Affairs Office in Cabinet Secretariat. 1964-2009 【AZ-332-1】【Z41-909】）
Subject item list of the cabinet meetings, etc. （Director-General of Cabinet Affairs Office in the Cabinet Secretariat. 2010-【Z41-909】）
Those materials contain lists of matters discussed at the cabinet meetings. It also records the text of main cabinet decisions. Though the material does not include all cabinet decisions, it is serviceable and sufficient extensive.
Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet.
The page of Government's basic policy and plan, etc. (Japanese) shows the texts of government basic policies decided at cabinet meetings since 2011.
The page of Cabinet Meetings (Japanese) shows matters discussed at the cabinet meetings since October 1997, but it does not contain texts of cabinet decisions. Since 2010, matters which need to be informed outside of Japan have been translated into English and listed on the page Cabinet Decisions and Other Announcements.
In addition, part of matters discussed at the cabinet meetings are listed as "Cabinet Decisions, etc." in "Materials" on Official Gazettes.