A powerful typhoon is approaching a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean south of Tokyo, and officials are warning of heavy rains, strong winds and high waves in the region.

Typhoon Saola's winds are blowing at more than 140 kilometers per hour. The storm was just off Hachijo Island, 300 kilometers south of Tokyo, Saturday afternoon, and heading north.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says heavy rains will hit Tokyo later Saturday and Sunday as the typhoon passes just east of the city.

On average, two to three typhoons hit Japan's main islands each year. Typhoon Nabi, which ripped through western Japan earlier this month, killed more than 20 people.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.