Imperial Household Council

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This article is about the body of Japan established in 1947 . For the Japanese imperial household, see Imperial Household of Japan . For the administration of the Japanese imperial household after 1889, see Imperial Household Agency . For the administration of the Japanese imperial household before 1889, see Ministry of the Imperial Household . For the administration of the Qing China imperial household, see Imperial Household Department .
For the generalized concept, see Imperial Household. For other uses, see Imperial Household Administration.

The Imperial Household Council (皇室会議 Kōshitsu Kaigi?) is a ten-member body to approve the statutory matters on the Imperial House of Japan. The Council was established in 1947, when the current Imperial Household Law took effect.

Functions[edit]

The Imperial Household Law provides that the Council shall be summoned by the Prime Minister to approve of:

  • Marriage of any male member of the Imperial Family (Article X)
  • Forfeiture of the Imperial status of a member of the Imperial Family (Articles XI, XIII and XIV)
  • Changing of the order of succession of an heir who suffers from incurable disease (Article III)
  • Regency (Articles XVI, XVIII and XX)

The Imperial Household Council has been convoked seven times hitherto. At each time, the Council meeting was headed by the Prime Minister and gave a unanimous consent and approval to the agenda.

Forfeiture of the Imperial status[edit]

Fifty-one members lost their Imperial status in 1947 with an approval of the Council.

Approval of marriage[edit]

The Council has discussed and approved of six marriages since its establishment.

Date of approval Marriage between
27 November 1958 Prince Akihito and Michiko Shōda
28 February 1964 Prince Masahito and Hanako Tsugaru
18 April 1980 Prince Tomohito and Nobuko Asō
1 August 1984 Prince Norihito and Hisako Tottori
12 September 1989 Prince Fumihito and Kiko Kawashima
19 January 1993 Prince Naruhito and Masako Owada

No princess of the blood needs a marriage approval unless she marries a member of the Imperial House, because she will automatically become a commoner upon marriage and her husband will never be a member of the Imperial House under the rule of patrilineal succession. Six princesses have married without the Council's approval since it was established.

Members of the Imperial Household Council[edit]

Article XXVIII of the Imperial Household Law provides that the Imperial Household Council shall consist of:

Article XXX of the Imperial Household Law provides that other ten members shall be appointed as reserve members of the Council.

  • Minister of State - in most cases, Chief Cabinet Secretary
  • Two members of the Imperial Family
  • Two members of the House of Representatives
  • Two members of the House of Councillors
  • An official of the Imperial Household Agency - in most cases, Vice-Grand Steward
  • Two justices of the Supreme Court

Incumbent members of the Council in order of precedence[edit]

The reserve members are as follows:

Kōzoku Giin (Imperial Representative)[edit]

Kōzoku Giin (皇族議員?), literally Imperial Representative, refers to the Imperial Family members elected as members of the Imperial Household Council by mutual election among the adult members of the Imperial Family excluding the Emperor. They vote to elect two reserve members from the Imperial Family in the same way.[1]

Term of office starts on Members Reserve members
16 September 1947 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Takahito, Prince Mikasa Kikuko, Princess Takamatsu
16 September 1951 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Takahito, Prince Mikasa Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Atsuko, Princess Yori
(until 10 October 1952)
(12 October 1952) Kikuko, Princess Takamatsu
16 September 1955 Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Kikuko, Princess Takamatsu Takahito, Prince Mikasa
16 September 1959 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Takahito, Prince Mikasa Kikuko, Princess Takamatsu
16 September 1963 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Takahito, Prince Mikasa Yuriko, Princess Mikasa Akihito, Crown Prince
16 September 1967 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Takahito, Prince Mikasa Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Akihito, Crown Prince
16 September 1971 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Takahito, Prince Mikasa Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Akihito, Crown Prince
16 September 1975 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Takahito, Prince Mikasa Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Akihito, Crown Prince
16 September 1979 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Takahito, Prince Mikasa Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Akihito, Crown Prince
16 September 1983 Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu
(died on 3 February 1987)
Takahito, Prince Mikasa Setsuko, Princess Chichibu Akihito, Crown Prince
16 September 1987 Takahito, Prince Mikasa Akihito, Crown Prince
(enthroned on 7 January 1989)
Masahito, Prince Hitachi Setsuko, Princess Chichibu
(5 September 1989) Masahito, Prince Hitachi (vacant)
16 September 1991 Takahito, Prince Mikasa Yuriko, Princess Mikasa Masahito, Prince Hitachi Naruhito, Crown Prince
16 September 1995 Takahito, Prince Mikasa Yuriko, Princess Mikasa Masahito, Prince Hitachi Naruhito, Crown Prince
16 September 1999 Takahito, Prince Mikasa Yuriko, Princess Mikasa Naruhito, Crown Prince Masahito, Prince Hitachi
16 September 2003 Takahito, Prince Mikasa Yuriko, Princess Mikasa Masahito, Prince Hitachi Hanako, Princess Hitachi
16 September 2007 Masahito, Prince Hitachi Hanako, Princess Hitachi Yuriko, Princess Mikasa Fumihito, Prince Akishino
16 September 2011 Masahito, Prince Hitachi Hanako, Princess Hitachi Yuriko, Princess Mikasa Fumihito, Prince Akishino

Princess Yori ceased to be a reserve member of the Council because she got married and became a commoner on 10 October 1952. Princess Takamatsu became a reserve member in replacement for her.

Recent elections[edit]

On 3 September 2003, Prince Mikasa was reelected to his fifteenth consecutive term of office since the Council's establishment. Crown Prince Naruhito was voted out. It was for the first time since 1963 that the crown prince was not elected as a member or reserve member of the Council.[2]

On 5 September 2007, empress Michiko, six princes and nine princesses voted to elect Prince and Princess Hitachi as members of the Council, and Princess Mikasa and Prince Akishino as reserve members. Prince Mikasa was reported to have excused himself for his old age in advance. Crown Prince Naruhito was not elected again while his brother, Prince Akishino was voted in for the first time. The next election was in September 2011.[3]

On 7 September 2011, the regular election was held by the 18 adult members of the imperial family. This time the elections were not held at the Imperial Palace, but in an Agency conference room to reduce energy consumption.[4] Both the members and reserve members were re-elected.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 皇室会議議員及び予備議員互選規則
  2. ^ Mainichi Shimbun Morning Edition, 4 September 2003
  3. ^ Mainichi Shimbun Morning Edition, 6 September 2007
  4. ^ Imperial Household Council election
  5. ^ Imperial Diary

External links[edit]