Volcanic activity at Japan's Mount Hakone forces closure of part of popular hot springs area

Japanese authorities have closed part of a popular hot springs area to the public because of fears a volcano might erupt.

Increased earthquake activity prompted the Japanese Meteorological Agency to raise the alert level for Mount Hakone earlier this week to 2 on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest.

The town of Hakone met on Thursday with tourism industry representatives who are concerned about the possible impact on business.

Hakone is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Tokyo. It attracts visitors from both Japan and overseas.

The eruption of Mount Ontake in central Japan last September killed 57 people.