In a land area of 2,276 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Kagoshima prefecture.
In the diocesan territory, the population is 1,432,871 at end of 2016. Most of them are ethnic Japanese. There are also 9,126 non-Japanese people, according to the Immigration Bureau of Japan.
The territory also has many languages/dialects.
On March 18, 1927, Okinawa prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture were separated from the Nagasaki diocese and became the prefecture apostolic of Kagoshima. In accord with the San Francisco Peace Treaty at the end of the Second World War, Okinawa prefecture and the Southern Islands of Kagoshima prefecture came under American military occupation. For this reason, Okinawa and the Southern Islands were separated from the prefecture apostolic of Kagoshima and came directly under the Holy See. They were entrusted to the American Capuchin Friars (New York Province) and became the administration apostolic of the Ryukyus. On Jan. 21, 1949, Father Felix Ley, O.F.M. Cap. was appointed administrator apostolic.
On May 8, 1955, Amamioshima and others of the Southern Islands were returned to Japan and became part of the diocese of Kagoshima.
On June 9, 1968, Monsignor Ley was consecrated bishop and became a member of the bishops' conference until his sudden death on Jan. 23, 1972.
In May 1972, Japan resumed sovereignty over Okinawa and on Dec. 18 that year the administration apostolic of Ryukyus was raised to the status of a diocese, becoming the diocese of Naha. On Feb. 11, 1973, Father Tadamaro Ishigami, O.F.M.Cap., was consecrated and became the first bishop of Naha.
On March 20, 1997, Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Bishop Ishigami, and appointed Father Toshio Oshikawa, to succeed him. He was consecrated bishop of Naha on May 25, 1997.
Airplanes, railways, buses and ships are in use in the diocesan territory.
Throughout Japan, literacy is 99 percent, according to the Central Intelligence Agency, US, report 2010.
On every first Friday of the month thousands of Catholics flock to Holy Cross Church of Cherpunkal in Kerala, India to revere Infant Jesus and St. Thomas, the founder of the church. The church stands on the southern bank of Meenachil River. This fabled church, also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross)Church, belongs to Catholic Diocese of Palai of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, is the mother church in the tribal belt of eastern India, where Belgian Jesuits laid the foundation of Catholicism in 19th century. This brownish Church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, stands on Dr. Camil Bulcke Path and nestles between St. Xavier’s College and St. Albert Major Seminary.
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and benevolence of the sole female Roman Catholic ruler in India. Our Lady of Graces Church of Sardhana stands at Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh of northern India. Consecrated in 1822, this 200-feet long church with a high central dome over the main altar, is one of the largest churches in northern India.
Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica at Mylapore is a monumental declaration on ancient root of Christianity in India. The church was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle who is believed to have preached Christianity in India. The cathedral preserves 2000-year-old bones of the saint and the lance that pierced him to death. Popularly known as Santhome Church, the cathedral at Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu state was constructed during the Portuguese era in the 16th century. “San Thome” assumes its name from St. Thomas.
St. Joseph’s Church in Lahore is the oldest Catholic Church in Pakistan that has flourished since the 19th century despite deadly sectarian violence in recent years. The church at Sarfaraz Rafiqui Road in Lahore was established as a wooden structure during the British colonial era, on Oct. 31, 1842, to provide pastoral care to the British soldiers. It completed 180 years this year.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.