The Cabinet of Japan (also called the State Cabinet) serves as the executive branch of government, reporting to the Emergency Committee. It consists of the Prime Minister, who is elected by the National Diet from among its members, and up to twenty-four other members, called Ministers of State. Each government ministry and Cabinet-level office is represented in Cabinet by a Minister of State and a Deputy Minister. Members of Cabinet are appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is collectively responsible to the Diet and must resign if a motion of no confidence is adopted by the Diet.
Under the constitution, Cabinet ministers are appointed after the selection of the Prime Minister. A majority of the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister, must be members of the Diet, and all members must be civilians. Under the General Law on the State Cabinet, the number of Cabinet Ministers (excluding the Prime Minister) must be nineteen or less, but this may be increased to twenty-four if a special need arises. In the event that the Cabinet collectively resigns it continues to exercise its functions until the appointment of a new Prime Minister. While they are in office, legal action may not be taken against Cabinet ministers without the consent of the Prime Minister. The Cabinet must resign en masse in the following circumstances:
When a motion of no confidence is adopted, or a vote of confidence defeated, by the House of Representatives, unless there is a dissolution of the house within ten days.
Upon the first convocation of the Diet after a general election to the House of Representatives (even if the same Prime Minister is to be re-elected and appointed, and every other minister is to be reappointed).
When the position Prime Minister becomes vacant, or the Prime Minister declares his intention to resign.