Typhoon Maysak is bearing down on southern Japanese islands with forecasters warning of a "major disaster" in the region.
The Japan Meteorological Agency on Monday warned that Maysak could bring with it storm surge, heavy rains, high waves and violent winds, which could cause a "major disaster" in the Okinawa region.
The ninth typhoon to hit Japan this year is expected to gain further strength with maximum winds of 252km/h when closing in on the island from late at night, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said in a statement on Sunday.
At 1pm AEST on Monday, the eye of the storm was south of Okinawa's main island, travelling north-northwest at 30km/h with maximum sustained winds of 144km/h and gusts of 216km/h, the agency said.
Forecasters were warning of flooding, mudslides and swollen rivers, as the storm is expected to unleash up to 80mm of rain per hour on some parts of the island of Okinawa.
Many schools and public offices were closed from Monday afternoon, while flights in the region had already been cancelled, local media reported.