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Prime Minister (Japan)

Last modified: 2017-10-15 by zachary harden
Keywords: japan | prime minister: japan | cherry blossom |
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Flag of Prime Minister (2001-)

[Prime Minister flag] 2:3
image by Kazutaka Nishiura, 12 September 2009

On 6 January 2001, both the flag of Japanese Prime Minister and the flag of Minister of Defence were changed. I found it from "The gazette of National Defence Agency"
According to "The gazette of National Defence Agency". The flag of Japanese Prime Minister was changed as follows.
1. the color of flag: maroon to purple
2. the color of cherry blossom's core and outline: maroon to purple
Miru Takano, 6 August 2001


Prime Minister's flag, October 1951 - 14 March 1972

[Flag of Prime Minister]
by Jaume Ollé

According to Crampton The Complete Guide to Flags, on page 109, the Prime Minister's flag is "Orange with a ring of 15 red and white cherry blossom mon." Was there a change in the design? If so, when and why? Also, does anyone know if the number of cherry blossoms has any particular meaning or symbolism on the flag? Randy Young, 29 January 1999


Flaggenmitteilung shows the flag as yellow with white flowers.
Jaume Ollé 27 July 1999


The Japanese Prime Minister flag which is yellow gold flag with 5 red & white cherry blossoms was first adopted October, 1951 and changed on July 18, 1980 to the current one which is a dark reddish brown flag with 5 gold cherry blossoms.

The Japanese PM flag has not had 15 cherry blossoms.

The cherry blossom is Japanese national flower.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 February 2000


Our prime minister has his flag which is dark reddish brown (you can say maroon or red-brown) flag with 5 gold cherry blossoms and this flag is also used when prime minister works as Supreme Commander of Joint Self Defense Forces. Incidentally the flag of the Minister of State for Defense and Director General of the Defense Agency is same color flag with 5 silver cherry blossoms.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 6 February 2000


The new pm flag was adopted March 14, 1972 and is still in use as pm flag and supreme commander of the Self Defense Forces.

On 18 July 1980 a part of decree was a slightly modified, but the flag design itself was reconfirmed (no change).
Nozomi Kariyasu, 27 February 2000

Prime Minister Flag (1972-2001)

[Prime Minister flag, 1972- 2001]
by Jaume Ollé


Seal of Prime Minister

[Seal of Prime Minister]
image from Japanese Cabinet Office, located by Nozomi Kariyasu, 11 April 2014

Since Oct 2003 Japanese Prime Minister started using a lectern with a design of the Paulownia of 5-7 at the Press interview.
The Paulownia of 5-7 is a popular Paulownia crest. There are 7 flowers in the center and 5 each flowers to right and left over the three leaves.
It is said that Emperor Saga (786-842) started using the Paulownia design. However once Imperial family adopted Chrysanthemum as an Imperial family crest they liked to grant the Paulownia crest to shogunate or other powerful Daimyo. Although the current Prime Minister is not a Daimyo he started using it as his symbol.
This seal is not used on flag but only at press interview.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 11 April 2014

So, does he have the right to do that, if it's an imperial emblem? Or has the emperor granted it to him, or to the prime ministry?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 13 April 2014

In old times the Emperor tends to grant Paulownia crest to whom assumes the reins of government however in 1884 the official gazette was issued that there is no restriction to use the Paulownia crest not like Imperial crest Chrysanthemum. The Paulownia design can be seen in the Japanese coins and visa document. So the present Prime Minister was not granted it by the Emperor.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 13 April 2014