At least two people are feared dead after a fire broke out on a Shinkansen bullet train in Japan.

One of the passengers is thought to have immolated himself inside the train spreading the fire.

A female passenger on board the bullet train is also thought to have died while two others are injured, suggest local reports.

"We have been informed that there was a passenger in a car on the train who doused himself with oil and set himself on fire," said a government spokesperson, according to AFP.

The incident took place at about 11.30 am local time in the south of Tokyo when the bullet train was travelling between Shin-Yokohama and Odawara stations.

"We received information indicating that a fire broke out near a toilet and two people were in cardiopulmonary arrest. Other passengers were also injured," a fire department spokesperson said.

All train services on the route have been suspended.