TOKYO, April 3 (Reuters) -

Japan issued an evacuation advisory for the coastal areas near the southern prefecture of Okinawa after a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami warning.

A tsunami of up to 3 metres was expected to reach Japan's southwestern coast around 10 a.m. (0100 GMT), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The warning came after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 struck in the ocean near Taiwan.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about one-fifth of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

On March 11, 2011, the northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the strongest quake in Japan on record, and a massive tsunami. Those events triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier. (Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Chang-Ran Kim)