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Promulgated: January 15, 1947.
Effected: January 16, 1947.
Amended: May 31, 1949.

Contents

EdictEdit

I hereby give my sanction, with the advice of the Privy Council, to the Imperial House Law, for which the concurrence of the Imperial Diet has been obtained, and cause the same to be promulgated.

[Seal of His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor]
This fifteenth day of the first month of the twenty-second year of Showa
(January 15, 1947)
Countersigned :
Prime Minister and concurrently
Minister for Foreign Affairs - YOSHIDA Shigeru
Minister of State - Baron SHIDEHARA Kijuro
Minister of Justice - KIMURA Tokutaro
Minister for Home Affairs - OMURA Seiichi
Minister of Education - TANAKA Kotaro
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry - WADA Hiroo
Minister of State - SAITO Takao
Minister of Communications - HITOTSUMATSU Sadayoshi
Minister of Commerce and Industry - HOSHIJIMA Niro
Minister of Welfare - KAWAI Yoshinari
Minister of State - UEHARA Etsujiro
Minister of Transportation - HIRATSUKA Tsunejiro
Minister of Finance - ISHIBASHI Tanzan
Minister of State - KANAMORI Tokujiro
Minister of State - ZEN Keinosuke

The Imperial House LawEdit

Chapter 1. Succession to the Imperial ThroneEdit

Article 1
The Imperial Throne shall be succeeded to by a male offspring in the male line belonging to the Imperial Lineage.
Article 2
  1. The Imperial Throne shall be passed to the members of the Imperial Family according to the following order:
    1. The eldest son of the Emperor
    2. The eldest son of the Emperor's eldest son
    3. Other descendants of the eldest son of the Emperor
    4. The second son of the Emperor and his descendants
    5. Other descendants of the Emperor
    6. Brothers of the Emperor and their descendants
    7. Uncles of the Emperor and their descendants
  2. In case there is no member of the Imperial Family as under the numbers of the preceding paragraph, the Throne shall be passed to the member of the Imperial family next nearest in lineage.
  3. In the cases of the two preceding paragraphs, precedence shall be given to the senior line, and in the same degree, to the senior member.
Article 3
In case the Imperial Heir is affected with an incurable and serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance, the order of succession may be changed by decision of the Imperial House Council and in accordance with the order stipulated in the preceding article.
Article 4
Upon the demise of the Emperor, the Imperial Heir shall immediately accede to the Throne.

Chapter 2. The Imperial FamilyEdit

Article 5
The Empress, the Grand Empress Dowager, the Empress Dowager, Shinno, the consorts of Shinno, Naishinno, O, the consorts of O, and Jo-o shall be the members of the Imperial Family.
Article 6
The legitimate children of an Emperor and the legitimate grand children of an Emperor in the legitimate male line shall be Shinno in the case of a male, and Naishinno in the case of a female. The legitimate descendants of an Emperor in the third and later generations in the legitimate male line shall be O in the case of a male and Jo-o in the case of a female.
Article 7
In case an O succeeds to the Throne, his brothers and sisters who are O and Jo-o shall specially become Shinno and Naishinno.
Article 8
The son of the Emperor who is the Imperial Heir is called "Kotaishi" and in case there is no Kotaishi, the grandson of the Emperor, who is the Imperial Heir shall be called "Kotaison".
Article 9
The Emperor and the members of the Imperial Family may not adopt children.
Article 10
The institution of the Empress and the marriage of any male member of the Imperial Family shall be passed by the Imperial House Council.
Article 11
  1. A Naishinno, O, or Jo-o, of 15 years of age or more, shall leave the status of Imperial Family member according to her or his own desire and by decision of the Imperial House Council.
  2. Beside the case as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, a Shinno (excepting the Kotaishi and the Kotaison), Naishinno, O or Jo-o shall, in the case of special and unavoidable circumstances, leave the status of Imperial Family member by decision of the Imperial House Council.
Article 12
In case a female of the Imperial Family marries a person other than the Emperor or the members of the Imperial Family, she shall lose the status of the Imperial Family member.
Article 13
The consorts of a Shinno or O who leaves the status of the Imperial Family member, and his direct descendants and their consorts, excepting those females who are married to other members of the Imperial Family and their direct descendants, shall lose simultaneously the status of the Imperial Family member. However, as regards his direct descendants and their consorts, it may be so decided by the Imperial House Council that they do not lose the status of the Imperial Family member.
Article 14
  1. A female, not of the Imperial Family, who is married to a Shinno or O, may, upon the loss of her husband, leave the status of the Imperial Family member according to her own desire.
  2. When a female mentioned in the preceding paragraph has lost her husband, she shall, in case of special and unavoidable circumstances beside the case as under the same paragraph, leave the status of the Imperial Family member by decision of the Imperial House Council.
  3. In case a female mentioned in the first paragraph is divorced, she shall lose the status of the Imperial Family.
  4. The provisions of the first paragraph and the preceding paragraph shall apply to the females married to other members of the Imperial Family mentioned in the preceding article.
Article 15
Any person outside the Imperial Family and his or her descendants shall not become a member thereof except in the cases where a female becomes Empress or marries a member of the Imperial Family.

Chapter 3. RegencyEdit

Article 16
  1. In case the Emperor has not come of age, a Regency shall be established.
  2. In case the Emperor is affected with a serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance and is unable to perform his acts in matters of state, a Regency shall be instituted by decision of the Imperial House Council.
Article 17
  1. The Regency shall be assumed by a member of the Imperial Family of age according to the following order:
    1. The Kotaishi, or Kotaison
    2. A Shinno and an O
    3. The Empress
    4. The Empress Dowager
    5. The Grand Empress Dowager
    6. A Naishinno and a Jo-o
  2. In the case of No. 2 in the preceding paragraph the order of succession to the Throne shall apply; and in the case of No. 6 in the same paragraph, the order of succession to the Throne shall apply mutatis mutandis.
Article 18
In case the Regent, or a person falling in the order of assumption of Regency, is affected with a serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance, the Imperial House Council may decide to change the Regent or the order of assumption of Regency, according to the order stipulated in the preceding article.
Article 19
When, because of minority of the person falling in the order of assumption of Regency or because of obstacles mentioned in the preceding paragraph, another member of the Imperial Family has become Regent, he shall not yield his post of Regent to the said member of the Imperial Family who has the precedence on the ground of his attainment to majority or the removal of those obstacles, except in the case such person happens to be the Kotaishi or Kotaison.
Article 20
In case the obstacles mentioned in Article 16, paragraph 2 have been removed, the Regency shall be abolished by decision of the Imperial House Council.
Article 21
The Regent, while in office, shall not be subject to legal action. However, the right to take that action is not impaired hereby.

Chapter 4. Majority; Honorific Titles; Ceremony of Accession; Imperial Funeral; Record of Imperial Lineage; and Imperial MausoleumsEdit

Article 22
The majority age for the Emperor, the Kotaishi and the Kotaison shall be eighteen.
Article 23
  1. The honorific title for the Emperor, the Empress, the Grand Empress Dowager and the Empress Dowager shall be "Heika".
  2. The honorific title for the members of the Imperial Family other than those mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be "Denka".
Article 24
When the Throne is succeeded to, the ceremony of Accession shall be held.
Article 25
When the Emperor dies, the Rites of Imperial Funeral shall be held.
Article 26
The matters relating to the family status of the Emperor and the members of the Imperial Family shall be registered in the Record of Imperial Lineage.
Article 27
The graves of the Emperor, the Empress, the Grand Empress Dowager and the Empress Dowager, shall be called "Ryo", and those of all other members of the Imperial Family shall be called "Bo"; the matters relating to Ryo and Bo shall be entered respectively in the Ryo Register and the Bo Register.

Chapter 5. The Imperial House CouncilEdit

Article 28
  1. The Imperial House Council shall be composed of ten members.
  2. These members shall consist of two Imperial Family members, the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the House of Representatives and of the House of Councillors, the Prime Minister, the head of the Imperial Household Agency, the Chief Judge and one other judge of the Supreme Court.
  3. The members of the Imperial Family and the judge other than the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court, who are to become members of the Council, shall be chosen by mutual election respectively from among the members of the Imperial Family of age and from among the judges other than the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court.
Article 29
The member of the Imperial House Council, who is the Prime Minister, shall preside over its meeting.
Article 30
  1. There shall be appointed ten reserve members in the Imperial House Council.
  2. As regards the reserve members for the Imperial Family members and the judge of the Supreme Court in the Council, the provision of Article 28, paragraph 3, shall apply mutatis mutandis.
  3. The reserve members for the Presidents and the Vice-Presidents of the House Representatives and of the House of Councillors in the Council shall be selected by mutual election from among the members of the House of Representatives and of the House of Councillors.
  4. The numbers of the reserve members mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs shall be the same as the numbers of the members in the Council, and the order of assuming their functions shall be determined at the time of the mutual election.
  5. The reserve member for the Prime Minister in the Council shall be the Minister of State who has been designated as the one to perform temporarily the functions of Prime Minister under the provisions of the Cabinet Law.
  6. The reserve member for the head of the Imperial Household Agency in the Council shall be designated by the Prime Minister from among the officials of the Imperial Household Agency.
  7. In case there is a hindrance with regard to a member of the Council, or he is missing, the reserve member for him shall perform his functions.
Article 31
As regards the President, the Vice-President and members of the House of Representatives mentioned in Article 28 and the preceding paragraph, they shall be, in case the house has been dissolved and pending the selection of the successors, those persons who were respectively the President, the Vice-President and members of the House at the time of its dissolution.
Article 32
Term of office for the members of the Council, who are members of the Imperial Family and a judge other than the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court and their reserve members shall be four years.
Article 33
  1. The Imperial House Council shall be convened by the president of the Council.
  2. The Imperial House Council must be convoked, if demanded by four members or more, in the cases as under Article 3, Article 16, paragraph 2, Article 18 and Article 20.
Article 34
The Imperial House Council, unless attended by six members or more, may not open deliberations and make decisions.
Article 35
  1. The deliberations of the Imperial House Council shall be decided by a majority vote of two-thirds or more of the members present, in the cases of Article 3, Article 16, paragraph 2, Article 18 and Article 20; and by a majority in all other cases.
  2. In case of a tie in the case of the latter clause of the preceding paragraph, the President shall make the decision.
Article 36
A member may not participate in the deliberation of any matter in which he has a special interest.
Article 37
The Imperial House Council shall exercise only those powers which are provided for by this and other laws.

Supplementary ProvisionsEdit

  1. The present law shall come into force as from the day of the enforcement of the Constitution of Japan.
  2. The present members of the Imperial Family shall be considered as the members of the Imperial Family under this law; and with regard to the application of the provisions of Article 6, they shall be considered the legitimate offspring in the legitimate male line.
  3. The present Ryo and Bo shall be considered as the Ryo and Bo as under Article 27.

Supplementary Provisions (Amendment #1)Edit

  1. This amendment shall come into force from the first day of the sixth month of the twenty-forth year of Showa.
    (June 1, 1949)

SourceEdit

 

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