Prime Minister of Japan

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The Prime Minister of Japan is the modern head of government of Japan, part of the cabinet system established in 1885 under the Meiji Restoration. Compared with strong executives such as the President of the United States, the Japanese leader has always had checks and balances, although informal in nature.

Pre-1945

Hirabumi Ito, who was influential in writing the Constitution, was the first Prime Minister and served as Prime Minister in three other governments.

The rise of party government

After various compromises, the first party government formed in 1900, and the first government with a Prime Minister selected due to a Diet majority, rather than a genro recommendation alone, was in 1918.

Party government ends

Party rapidly declined after the February 26, 1936 Incident, and the last party dissolved itself in 1940.

Post-1945