National Government Organization Act
Act No. 120 of July 10, 1948
(Purpose)
Article 1The purpose of this Act is to provide for the standards for the organization of the administrative organs under the control and jurisdiction of the Cabinet other than the Cabinet Office (hereinafter referred to as the "administrative organs of the State"), thereby arranging the organization of national government which is necessary for the efficient performance of the administrative matters of the State.
(Structure of the Organization)
Article 2(1)The organization of national government must be, under the control and jurisdiction of the Cabinet and together with the organization of the Cabinet Office, structured systematically by all of the administrative organs that have duties and a well-defined scope of affairs under the jurisdiction that is necessary for accomplishing such duties.
(2)The administrative organs of the State must, under the control and jurisdiction of the Cabinet, carry out self-evaluation, plan and draft their own policies and achieve mutual coordination and liaison among the administrative organs of the State in respect of their policies so that they may demonstrate their administrative functions as one body. The same applies to coordination and liaison of their policies with the Cabinet Office.
(Establishment, Abolition, Duties and Affairs under Jurisdiction of Administrative Organs)
Article 3(1)The organization of the administrative organs of the State is prescribed by this Act.
(2)The administrative organs of the State to be established for the organization of the government are ministries, commissions and agencies, and the establishment and abolition thereof is prescribed separately by law.
(3)A ministry is to be established as an organ that takes charge of administrative matters under the control and jurisdiction of the Cabinet, and a commission and an agency are to be established under a ministry as its external organs.
(4)The organs to be established as administrative organs of the State as set forth in paragraph 2 are those listed in the appended table 1.
Article 4The duties of the administrative organs of the State and the scope of the affairs under jurisdiction that are necessary for accomplishing such duties as set forth in the preceding Article are prescribed separately by law.
(Heads of Administrative Organs)
Article 5(1)The head of a ministry shall be a minister who takes charge of and manages the relevant administrative matters as the competent minister referred to in the Cabinet Act (Act No. 5 of 1947).
(2)A minister is appointed by the Prime Minister from among the Ministers of State; provided, however, that this does not preclude the Prime Minister from assuming such a position.
Article 6The head of a commission is a chairperson, and the head of an agency is a director-general.
(Internal Bureaus and Departments)
Article 7(1)A ministry establishes a secretariat and bureaus in order to accomplish the affairs under its jurisdiction.
(2)The secretariat and bureaus set forth in the preceding paragraph may, when particularly necessary, establish departments.
(3)An agency may establish a secretariat and departments in order to accomplish the affairs under its jurisdiction.
(4)The establishment of secretariats, bureaus and departments and the scope of the affairs under their jurisdiction are specified by Cabinet Order.
(5)An agency, secretariat, bureau, and department (excluding those which are set forth in appended table 2 as agency whose affairs under jurisdiction mainly pertain to the implementation of policies (hereinafter referred to as an "implementing agency") and a secretariat and departments to be established in an implementing agency) may establish divisions and offices equivalent thereto, and the establishment and the scope of the affairs under the jurisdiction of such organs are specified by Cabinet Order.
(6)An implementing agency and a secretariat and departments to be established in the implementing agency may, within the limits of the number specified by Cabinet Order, establish divisions and offices equivalent thereto, and the establishment and the scope of the affairs under the jurisdiction of such organs are specified by Cabinet Order.
(7)A commission may establish an executive office as provided by law. The provisions of paragraphs 3 to 5 apply mutatis mutandis to the internal organization of an executive office.
(8)A commission may, when particularly necessary, establish a general executive office as provided by law.
(Councils)
Article 8An administrative organ of the State as set forth in Article 3 may, within the scope of the affairs under jurisdiction as prescribed by law, establish an organ having a council system for taking charge of the study and deliberation of important matters, administrative review or other affairs that are considered appropriate to be processed through consultation among persons with relevant expertise, as provided by law or Cabinet Order.
(Organs such as Facilities)
Article 8-2An administrative organ of the State as set forth in Article 3 may, within the scope of the affairs under jurisdiction as prescribed by law, establish test and research laboratories, inspection and certification institutes, educational and training facilities (including organs and facilities similar thereto), medical and rehabilitation facilities, reformatory detention facilities, and work facilities, as provided by law or Cabinet Order.
(Extraordinary Organs)
Article 8-3An administrative organ of the State as set forth in Article 3 may, when particularly necessary, establish extraordinary organs in addition to those organs that are prescribed in the preceding two Articles, within the scope of the affairs under jurisdiction as prescribed by law, as provided by law.
(Local Branch Bureaus and Departments)
Article 9An administrative organ of the State as set forth in Article 3 may, in cases where it is necessary to allot affairs under its jurisdiction, establish local branch bureaus and departments, as prescribed by law.
(Authority of Heads of Administrative Organs)
Article 10A minister, the chairperson of a commission or the director-general of an agency superintends the affairs of the ministry, the commission or the agency, and supervises the public service offered by their employees.
Article 11A minister, when they find it necessary to establish, revise or abolish any law or Cabinet Order in respect of administrative matters under their charge, must submit a proposal together with a draft to the Prime Minister and ask for a Cabinet meeting therefor.
Article 12(1)A minister may, in order to enforce a law or Cabinet Order in respect of administrative matters under their charge, or on the basis of a special delegation under a law or Cabinet Order, issue Ministerial Order as an order from the ministry.
(2)The head of an external organ may, in respect of the affairs under the jurisdiction of the external organ, submit a proposal for the issuance of Ministerial Order together with a draft thereof to the competent minister.
(3)Without delegation by laws, no penal provisions or any provisions that impose obligations on or restrict the rights of citizens may be established in Ministerial Orders.
Article 13(1)A commission or the director-general of an agency may, as separately prescribed by a law, issue by itself rules and any other special orders other than Cabinet Orders and Ministerial Orders.
(2)The provisions of paragraph 3 of the preceding Article apply mutatis mutandis to an order set forth in the preceding paragraph.
Article 14(1)A minister, a commission or the director-general of an agency may, in respect of the affairs under the jurisdiction of the ministry, the commission or the agency, issue a public notification in the case where it is necessary to issue a public notice.
(2)A minister, a commission or the director-general of an agency may, for the purpose of giving an order or direction in respect of the affairs under the jurisdiction of the ministry, the commission or the agency, issue an instruction or a circular notice to the competent organs and their personnel.
Article 15A minister, a commission or the director-general of an agency may, when they find it necessary to achieve mutual coordination with administrative organs in respect of policies to accomplish the duties of the ministry, the commission or the agency, seek the submission of and explanation about the necessary materials from the heads of the relevant administrative organs by clarifying such necessity and state their opinion with respect to the policies of those relevant administrative organs.
(Senior Vice-Ministers)
Article 16(1)Each ministry establishes senior vice-ministers.
(2)The fixed number of senior vice-ministers is as prescribed respectively in the column of the fixed number of senior vice-ministers in the appended table 3.
(3)A senior vice-minister takes charge of policies and planning and deals with state affairs by the order of the minister who is the head of the ministry concerned, and by receiving the order of the minister who is the head of such ministry in advance, performs the duties of the minister in the absence of that minister.
(4)In a ministry where two senior vice-ministers are established, the scope of duties and the order in which to act for the minister as set forth in the preceding paragraph to be carried out by each senior vice-minister is as specified by the minister who is the head of the ministry concerned.
(5)Appointment and dismissal of a senior vice-minister are effected by the Cabinet based on a proposal made by the minister who is the head of the ministry concerned and certified by the Emperor.
(6)The senior vice-ministers, in the case of the general resignation of the Cabinet, lose their positions at the same time as the Prime Minister and all other Ministers of State lose their positions.
(Parliamentary Secretaries)
Article 17(1)Each ministry establishes parliamentary secretaries.
(2)The fixed number of parliamentary secretaries is as prescribed respectively in the column of the fixed number of parliamentary secretaries in the appended table 3.
(3)A parliamentary secretary assists the minister who is the head of the ministry concerned, participates in specified policies and planning, and deals with state affairs.
(4)The scope of the duties set forth in the preceding paragraph to be carried out by each parliamentary secretary is as specified by the minister who is the head of the ministry concerned.
(5)Appointment and dismissal of a parliamentary secretary are effected by the Cabinet based on a proposal made by the minister who is the head of the ministry concerned.
(6)The provisions of paragraph 6 of the preceding Article apply mutatis mutandis to parliamentary secretaries.
(Administrative Vice-Ministers and Deputy Directors-General of Agencies)
Article 18(1)Each ministry establishes one administrative vice-minister.
(2)An administrative vice-minister assists the minister who is the head of the ministry concerned, coordinates the affairs of the ministry, and supervises the affairs of the relevant bureaus, departments and organs.
(3)Each agency when particularly necessary, establishes deputy directors-general as being the positions that assist the director-general and coordinate the affairs of the agency, and the establishment of those positions and the fixed number thereof are specified by Cabinet Order.
(4)A ministry or an agency may, when particularly necessary, establish positions that collectively coordinate part of the affairs under its jurisdiction, and the establishment, the duties and the fixed number of such positions are specified by law (Cabinet Order in the case of an Agency).
(Private Secretaries)
Article 19(1)Each ministry establishes private secretaries.
(2)The fixed number of private secretaries is specified by a Cabinet Order.
(3)A private secretary takes charge of the affairs concerning confidential matters by order of the minister of the ministry concerned or assists in the affairs of the relevant bureaus and departments by temporary order of the minister.
(Positions that Take Charge of Affairs not under the Jurisdiction of the Secretariat and Bureaus)
Article 20(1)A ministry may, when particularly necessary, establish positions, which are equivalent to those of directors-general, that have jurisdiction over affairs not under the jurisdiction of the secretariat and bureaus for the efficient performance of those affairs, and the establishment, the duties and the fixed number of such positions are specified by Cabinet Order.
(2)An agency may, when particularly necessary, establish positions, which are equivalent to those of directors-general of departments, that have jurisdiction over affairs not under the jurisdiction of the secretariat and departments for the efficient performance of those affairs, and the establishment, the duties and the fixed number of such positions are specified by Cabinet Order.
(3)A ministry and an agency (excluding an implementing agency) may, when particularly necessary, establish positions, which are equivalent to those of directors of divisions, that assist in the carrying out of the whole or part of the duties taken charge by those in the positions set forth in the preceding two paragraphs, and the establishment, the duties and the fixed number of such positions are specified by Cabinet Order.
(4)An implementing agency may, when particularly necessary, establish positions, which are equivalent to those of directors of divisions, that assist in the carrying out of the whole or part of the duties taken charge by those in the positions set forth in paragraph 2 within the limits of the number specified by Cabinet Order, and the establishment, the duties and the fixed number of such positions are specified by Ministerial Order.
(Positions in Internal Bureaus and Departments)
Article 21(1)The executive office of a commission, a bureau, a department, a division and an office equivalent to a division respectively establishes the director of the executive office, the director-general of the bureau, the director-general of the department, the director of the division and the director of the office.
(2)A secretariat may establish a head, and the establishment and the duties thereof are specified by Cabinet Order.
(3)A bureau, a department or the executive office of a commission may establish deputy directors, and the establishment, the duties and the fixed number thereof are specified by Cabinet Order.
(4)A secretariat, a bureau or a department (excluding a secretariat or department established in an implementing agency) or the executive office of a commission may establish positions, which are equivalent to those of directors of divisions, that coordinate part of the affairs under its jurisdiction or that have jurisdiction over affairs not under the jurisdiction of the divisions (including offices equivalent to divisions) for the efficient performance of such affairs, and the establishment, the duties and the fixed number of such positions are specified by Cabinet Order. The same applies to the case where an agency (excluding an Implementing Agency) that does not have a secretariat or departments establishes positions corresponding to those positions.
(5)The secretariat or departments established in an implementing agency may, within the limits of the number specified by Cabinet Order, establish positions, which are equivalent to directors of divisions, that collectively coordinate part of the affairs under its jurisdiction or that have jurisdiction over affairs not under the jurisdiction of the divisions (including offices equivalent to the divisions) for the efficient performance of such affairs, and the establishment, the duties and the fixed number of such positions are specified by Cabinet Order. The same applies to the case where an implementing agency that does not have a secretariat or departments establishes positions corresponding to those positions.
(Special Provisions on Administrative Organs of Government Enterprises)
Article 22Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 7 and the preceding Article, different provisions may be specially provided for by law with respect to an administrative organ of a government enterprise.
(Number of Secretariats and Bureaus)
Article 23The number of secretariats and bureaus to be established under the provisions of Article 7, paragraph 1, together with the number of secretariats and bureaus to be established under the provisions of Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Act for Establishment of the Cabinet Office (Act No. 89 of 1999), are 96 or less.
(Organizational Titles of Positions)
Article 24The positions under the provisions of this Act are given organizational titles in addition to the titles of the relevant position levels under the position classification plan.
(Reports to the Diet)
Article 25(1)When the government has newly established, revised or abolished any organization established by Cabinet Order pursuant to the provisions of Article 7, paragraph 4 (including as applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 7 of the same Article), Article 8, Article 8-2, Article 18, paragraph 3 or paragraph 4, Article 20, paragraph 1 or paragraph 2 or Article 21, paragraph 2 or paragraph 3 or any other major organization equivalent thereto, it must report such situation to the next session of the Diet.
(2)The government publicly notifies a list of organization of the administrative organs of the State in an official gazette at least once a year.
Appended Table 1 (Re: Article 3)
Ministry
Commission
Agency
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Environmental Disputes Coordination Commission
Fire and Disaster Management Agency
Ministry of Justice
Public Security Examination Commission
Public Security Intelligence Agency
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Finance
National Tax Agency
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Agency for Cultural Affairs
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Central Labour Relations Commission
Social Insurance Agency
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Forestry Agency
Fisheries Agency
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
Japan Patent Office
Small and Medium Enterprise Agency
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
Central Labour Relations Commission for Seafarers
Japan Meteorological Agency
Japan Coast Guard
Japan Marine Accident Inquiry Agency
Ministry of the Environment
Ministry of Defense
Defense Facilities Administration Agency
Appended Table 2 (Re: Article 7)
Public Security Intelligence Agency
National Tax Agency
Social Insurance Agency
Japan Patent Office
Japan Meteorological Agency
Japan Coast Guard
Japan Marine Accident Inquiry Agency
Defense Facilities Administration Agency
Appended Table 3 (Re: Article 16 and 17)
Ministry
Fixed number of Senior Vice-Ministers
Fixed number of Parliamentary Secretaries
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
2 persons
3 persons
Ministry of Justice
1 person
1 person
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2 persons
3 persons
Ministry of Finance
2 persons
2 persons
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
2 persons
2 persons
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
2 persons
2 persons
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
2 persons
2 persons
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
2 persons
2 persons
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
2 persons
3 persons
Ministry of the Environment
1 person
1 person
Ministry of Defense
1 person
2 persons