Catholic Church in Japan

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The Catholic Church in Japan is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the pope in Rome. In 2005, there were approximately 509,000 Catholics in Japan—just under 0.5% of the total population,[1] and by 2014, there were around 440,000 Japanese Catholics.[2] There are 16 dioceses, including three archdioceses,[3] with 1589 priests and 848 parishes in the country.[1] The bishops of the dioceses form the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, the episcopal conference of the nation.

The current Apostolic nuncio to Japan is Archbishop Joseph Chennoth.[4] Archbishop Joseph Chennoth is the Holy See's ambassador to Japan as well as its delegate to the local church.

Christianity was introduced to Japan by the Jesuits, such as the Spaniard St. Francis Xavier and the Italian Alessandro Valignano. Portuguese Catholics founded the port of Nagasaki, considered at its founding to be an important Christian center in the Far East, though this distinction is now obsolete. There is a modern Japanese translation of the whole Bible by Federico Barbaro, an Italian missionary. Nowadays, a large number of Japanese Catholics are ethnic Japanese from Brazil and Peru.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, a personal ordinariate within the Catholic Church originally created as a means for Anglicans to enter communion with Rome while maintaining their patrimony, has also begun to form in Japan. As of 2015, it has 2 congregations.[5]



Episcopal Conference[edit]

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan is the Japanese episcopal conference.

Dioceses by region[edit]

Province of Nagasaki[edit]

Province of Osaka[edit]

Province of Tokyo[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Catholic Hierarchy Directory
  2. ^ Catholic News Service (20 February 2014). "Bishops set out difficulties facing Japanese Catholics". Catholic Herald. Catholic Herald Limited. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  3. ^ on the Catholic Church in Japan
  4. ^ Apostolic Nunciature Japan
  5. ^ "Ordinariate Community of St. Augustine of Canterbury". Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  6. ^ Röpke, Ian (1999). Historical Dictionary of Osaka and Kyoto. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-3622-8.

External links[edit]