Television footage showed black smoke boiling into the sky and ash was falling as far as 4 km away, NHK national television said.
Japan lies on the "Ring of Fire" — a horseshoe-shaped band of fault lines and volcanoes around the edges of the Pacific Ocean — and is home to more than 100 active volcanoes.
Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted unexpectedly last year, killing 63 people, the worst volcanic disaster for nearly 90 years. In May, a remote island south of Kyushu was evacuated due to another eruption.
Aso erupted about 9:43 a.m. (8:43 p.m. Sunday ET)in one of the Nakadake craters at Mount Aso, on the southwestern island of Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency issued a level 3 alert, warning people to stay away from the area.
Japan Air Lines said arrivals and departures at Kumamoto Airport were "irregular" because of the eruption, which sent a plume of smoke about a mile and a quarter into the sky. Several flights had already been canceled, the airline said, and more cancellations were expected.
IN THE PAST 30 DAYS, JAPAN HAS ALSO EXPERIENCED 37 EARTHQUAKES OF MAGNITUDE 4.5 OR HIGHER, ACCORDING TO THE USGS EARTHQUAKE DATA.
THAT AN ISLAND NATION PRONE TO EARTHQUAKES, TSUNAMIS, TYPHOONS, AND VOLCANOES, TO THE EXTENT THAT JAPAN EXPERIENCES THESE THINGS, WAS EVER ALLOWED TO CONSTRUCT NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS SEEMS CRIMINAL.
IN THE RECENT EPIC FLOODS AFTER TYPHOON ETAU, THE FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI PLANT, CRIPPLED BY AN EARTHQUAKE/TSUNAMI AND CONTINUALLY LEAKING ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF RADIATION SINCE ITS TRIPLE MELTDOWN IN 2011, RELEASED HUNDREDS OF TONS OF CONTAMINATED WATER INTO THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT AND INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN.
NO ONE HAS SAID HOW THIS AFFECTED THE MAJOR AQUIFER OVER WHICH THE PLANT WAS UNWISELY CONSTRUCTED. HOW MUCH CONTAMINATED WATER ENTERED THE AQUIFER AFTER THIS FLOOD WE MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO KNOW.
AS MANY AS 200 PLASTIC BAGS OF WASTE WERE ALSO WASHED AWAY AS HIGH SURF POUNDED THE FACILITY WHICH SITS AT OCEAN'S EDGE.
JAPAN NEEDS NO MASSIVE ARMY, NO BOMBS...THEY HAVE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS WITH WHICH TO DESTROY LIFE ON PLANET EARTH.