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Two volcanoes - Mount Asama on the Nagano-Gunma border and Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima - have become active although no large-scale eruptions have occurred.
Chunks of rock from the explosion were found about 3,300ft away from Mount Asama, which lies about 90 miles north west of Tokyo, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Scientists led by Hiroyuki Tanaka of the University of Tokyo installed a single muon detector 1 kilometer from the summit of Mount Asama on the main island of Japan.