July 3, 2005

Japan says underwater volcano causing vapor column

TOKYO (Reuters) - An underwater volcano has erupted near aremote Pacific island off southern Japan, spewing a column ofsteam 1,000-meters (3,280-ft) into the sky, Japan's Coast Guardsaid on Sunday.

The coast guard sent a plane to investigate the eruptionabout 1,400 km (870 miles) south of Tokyo after it was spottedon Saturday by a member of Japan's armed forces stationed onthe nearby island of Iwojima.

The coast guard has issued a warning to shipping in thearea and plans to conduct a further investigation on Monday, aspokesman said.