RMG – Appointment of the New Provincial of Japan

20 December 2023

(ANS - Rome) - During the winter plenary session of the General Council, Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, with the consent of the members of his Council, appointed Fr Francis Hamasaki Atsushi, Superior of St Francis Xavier Province of Japan (GIA) for the six-year period 2024-2030. Fr Hamasaki will succeed Fr Jacob Hamaguchi Hideaki who has served the Province of Japan as Provincial since 2018.

Fr Hamasaki was born on 12 December 1968 in Tabira, Japan, in the diocese of Nagasaki, and entered the Salesian novitiate in Tokyo-Chofu in 1989. There he made his first religious profession on 24 March 1990 and later his perpetual profession on 25 March 1996, and was ordained a priest on 9 October 1999 in Tokyio-Suginomi.

After initial formation, he served the Province in various ministries, working in formation, school, parish in different communities and dioceses. He was a member of the Provincial Council for many terms, assisting the Superiors in animation and governance.

In fact, he worked first as the one in-charge and then as the Rector of the house in Yokkaichi (from 2000 to 2012, altogether), then in Miyazaki until 2021, serving at different times as Headmaster, Parish Priest, Vicar and Bursar; and after two years as Parish Priest (2021-2023) in the parish of Tokyo-Yotsuya, till he returned to Miyazaki last April.

While at the provincial level, he served as Delegate for Vocation Promotion (2004-2012), Youth Pastoral Care (2006-12), Parishes (2006-07), Volunteers (2006-07), Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (2006-07), Salesian Family (2006-09) and Schools (2018-23).

Currently, although the Catholic Church in Japan is a minority (0,3% of the population), the Japan province has significant services to the young people and the Catholic Church. In fact, together with lay people, they administer various schools with national reputation (from kinder-garden, Elementary to High Schools and one Polytechnic Institute). They also run several social services in two Centers for the young people in difficulties. The Church has also entrusted to the Salesians a number of Parishes, mostly multicultural ones, to serve the Japanese Catholics and Catholic immigrant communities from countries like Brazil, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

As society undergoes rapid demographic and economic changes, with a shrinking and increasingly elderly population and a larger number of young immigrants (almost half of the Catholic population is not of Japanese origin), the Province of Japan (with 70 Salesians) hopes to work closely with the Church, the Salesian Congregation and the East Asia-Oceania Region to serve better the youth in their beloved country.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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