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MIYAZAKI (Kyodo) Land minister Akihiro Ohata on Saturday visited Miyazaki Prefecture, where ash and rocks from the eruption of Mount Shinmoe have been disrupting residents’ lives since early last week.

Disaster prevention minister Ryu Matsumoto also visited the prefecture later Saturday for talks with local officials on how the government can help local communities face the first major eruption of the volcano, part of the Kirishima mountain range, in 52 years.

The Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions under the Meteorological Agency is monitoring the volcano, but members say it is difficult to predict what it will do due to a lack of data.

Ohata arrived in Takaharu, which lies east of the 1,421-meter volcano on the border with Kagoshima Prefecture.

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