Japan volcano
The Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupted on Friday, 5 February 2016. In picture: An aerial view shows the crater atop Mt. Sakurajima in Kagoshima, southwestern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo 15 August, 2015.Reuters

The Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupted on Friday, sending lava flowing down its slopes, Japanese media reported.

The volcano is located about 50 kilometres from the Sendai nuclear plant that began operations last year after it was shut down along with other nuclear plants in Japan following the 2011 earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster. 

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the volcano erupted "explosively" at about 7 pm local time on Friday. 

The agency issued a Level 3 "Do not approach the volcano" alert following the volcanic eruption. There have been no reports of injuries or damage yet, according to Kyodo News

Last year, another volcano - Mount Aso - had erupted near the Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai nuclear plant. Several groups in Japan have criticised the restarting of nuclear reactors in the country. 

There are about 100 active volcanoes in Japan, which sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a term that refers to the horseshoe-shaped position of the volcanoes along the Pacific Ocean.