A volcano in southern Japan erupted on Tuesday leading to a warning to nearby residents, the meteorological agency said.

The 1,117-metre Mount Sakurajima near Kagoshima city belched lava seven times from 5.22am (4.22am, Singapore time on Tuesday) and ejected cinders that were found nearly two kilometres from the crater, an agency official said.

'It's possible that the volcano will step up activity, and we have issued a warning to residents living nearby,' he told AFP.

The volcano, about 950km southwest of Tokyo, continued to spout fumes, although they were down from an earlier high of 1,200m.

The volcano last erupted in February, and the agency earlier this month boosted the alert level by a notch.

Source: Agence France-Presse