How many ministers are there in the cabinet?
The prime minister has the power to choose state ministers with the following qualifications:
1) The number of state ministers excluding the prime minister must be fewer than 17.
2) State ministers must be civilians.
3) The majority of the state ministers are to be chosen from Diet members.
So far, the ｍaximum allowable number of ministers have always been chosen and the vast majority have been members of the Diet, with only one or two at a time selected from outside the Diet.
Virtually every member of the Diet has an ambition to become a state minister, and there is even a term called "minister disease."
Administrative reforms specify that, beginning in 2001, there are one cabinct office and 11 ministries and agencies, while the number of state minister positions number no more than 17.