Tokyo (dpa) - Ten bodies were found near the peak of a volcano in central Japan Wednesday four days after its deadly eruption, a news report said.
The latest find could bring the death toll from the weekend eruption to 46, the highest from a single eruption in the country since detailed records began after World War II, the Kyodo News agency reported.
So far 18 people have been confirmed dead since Mount Ontake, a popular trekking destination, erupted on Saturday, according to the Nagano prefectural police.
Under Japanese procedure, only fatalities confirmed after inspection by medical authorities count towards official death tolls.
In 1991, a pyroclastic flow from Fugen Peak of Mount Unzen on the southern island of Kyushu killed 43 people, the current post war high.
Bodies were being transported to public buildings at the foot of the3,067-metre volcano, after about 1,000 rescue workers resumed operations, a Nagano official said.
On Tuesday, search operations were suspended amid growing fears of another large eruption, but the situation was slightly improved Wednesday, the official said, allowing the search to resume.
But toxic gases and plumes of smoke around the peak still hampered rescue efforts, she said.