TOKYO, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Wednesday launched a next-generation geostationary meteorological satellite "Himawari-9," aiming to further improve meteorological services in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. launched the Himawari-9 aboard the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.31 (H-IIA F31) at 3:20 p.m. local time (0620 GMT) on Wednesday from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center in Japan's southwestern Kagoshima prefecture.

The launch was originally scheduled for Nov. 1, but was postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Himawari 9 is the second of two identical weather satellites owned by the Japan Meteorological Agency to offer more detailed and more timely imagery of storms, clouds and other weather systems to forecasters in Japan and across the Western Pacific.

It is Japan's ninth geostationary weather observatory since the first satellite in the Himawari, or sunflower, series launched in 1977.