Chapter 1. The Emperor
Chapter 1 concerns the Emperor of Japan. Article 1, stating that the emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, represents a major change from the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, in which the emperor was the head of state, commander-in-chief of the military, and was given great authority in a wide range of matters. In the present constitution the emperor is to perform only acts specified in the constitution, as prescribed in article 7. The articles of chapter 1 are supplemented by the Imperial Household Code, which specifies, among other things, that only a male can be emperor. However, public opinion since around 2000 has shown strong support for the possibility of a female emperor. Proponents of constitutional revision frequently point to the loss of public status for imperial ritual as a problem they would redress.
Chapter 1. The Emperor
Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.
Article 2. The Imperial Throne shall be dynastic and succeeded to in accordance with the Imperial House Law passed by the Diet.
Article 3. The advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and the Cabinet shall be responsible therefor.
Article 4. The Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government.
(2) The Emperor may delegate the performance of his acts in matters of state as may be provided by law.
Article 5. When, in accordance with the Imperial House Law, a Regency is established, the Regent shall perform his acts in matters of state in the Emperor's name. In this case, paragraph one of the preceding article will be applicable.
Article 6. The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet.
(2) The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet.
Article 7. The Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people:
1. Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, laws, cabinet orders and treaties.
2. Convocation of the Diet.
3. Dissolution of the House of Representatives.
4. Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet.
5. Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, and of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers.
6. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
7. Awarding of honors.
8. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law.
9. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers.
10. Performance of ceremonial functions.
Article 8. No property can be given to, or received by, the Imperial House, nor can any gifts be made therefrom, without the authorization of the Diet.