Pope Appoints New Bishop of Nagasaki, Japan

Bishop Peter Michiaki Nakamura

Pope Nagasaki
Coat of Arms of Archbishop Peter Michiaki Nakamura

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Peter Michiaki Nakamura to lead the Metropolitan Diocese of Nagasaki.

The Holy See Press Office announced Tuesday that the Pope has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, P.S.S., of Nagasaki.

Bishop Nakamura has previously served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Nagasaki and was the titular bishop of Fessei. Pope Francis appointed the Nagasaki-native to that role in May 2019.

Born on 21 March 1962 in Saikai-city, Nagasaki prefecture, Archbishop Michiaki attended Nagasaki Minor Seminary before studying philosophy and theology at San Sulpizio Major Seminary in Fukuoka.

He then studied at the Alfonsiana Academy in Rome, obtaining a licentiate in moral theology in 1994.

He was ordained a priest on 19 March 1988 for the Archdiocese of Nagasaki.

After ordination, he served in the following roles: Formator in the Minor Seminary of the Archdiocese of Nagasaki (1988-1989); Vicar in the parish of Nakamachi (1989-1991); formator in the Minor Seminary (1994-1999); Vicar in the Cathedral of Urakami (1999-2002); Parish priest of Togitsu (2002-2005); formator in the Major Seminary in Fukuoka (2005-2007); Parish priest of Uematsu (2007-2014); professor of moral theology at the Major Seminaries of Fukuoka and Tokyo. (Source for roles: UCA News)

The origins of the diocese of Nagasaki date to1866 when Bishop Bernard-Thadée Petitjean, M.E.P., was appointed to head the vicariate apostolic of Japan, which had been entrusted to the Paris Foreign Mission Society. In 1876, when the vicariate apostolic of Japan was divided into northern and southern apostolic vicariates, Nagasaki became part of the Southern vicariate apostolic, which had jurisdiction over the Kyushu, Chugoku, and Kinki regions. In 1888, when the Central Japan vicariate apostolic was established, the three regions of Shikoku, Chugoku, and Kinki were committed to it, and on June 15, 1891, the diocese of Nagasaki was founded with the jurisdiction of all of Kyushu.

On July 16, 1927, the diocese of Nagasaki became the first diocese under a Japanese ordinary, and, except for Nagasaki prefecture, the rest of Kyushu was entrusted to the diocese of Fukuoka and the prefecture apostolic of Kagoshima. Father Kyunosuke Hayasaka was appointed ordinary and in the same year became the first Japanese to be consecrated bishop. With the resignation of Bishop Hayasaka in 1937, Father Aijiro Yamaguchi became the ordinary and was ordained bishop. On May 4, 1959, the diocese of Nagasaki was elevated to the rank of archdiocese, and Bishop Yamaguchi was appointed the first archbishop of Nagasaki.