The racing world reacted with shock and sadness after Japanese jockey Kota Fujioka died following a fall during a race, the second fatality to hit the sport in as many weeks.

The 35-year-old died on Wednesday, four days after falling from his horse and sustaining head and chest injuries at Hanshin Racecourse in western Japan, the Japan Racing Association said.

Fujioka's death came just a week after Italian jockey Stefano Cherchi died following a fall in Australia.

The JRA said Fujioka was the first jockey to die in Japan as a result of a racing accident since 2004.

Yutaka Take, head of Japan's jockey club, said that he had "never felt this much pain and sadness".

"I still can't believe it," the 55-year-old Japanese horse racing legend said in a statement.

"From now on I will race with thoughts of Kota in my heart."

Fujioka won over 800 JRA-sanctioned races, including two at the top-tier Grade One level, and appeared in over 10,000 races.

Italian jockey Mirco Demuro, who has over 1,200 wins in Japan, said Fujioka's death was "such a shock".

"You might say it's sad or it's painful, but there are really no words," the 45-year-old wrote in a column in Japan's Nikkan Sports daily.

"I was praying that he would somehow get better since he fell off his horse, but..."

Cherchi died a fortnight after being injured in a fall on March 20.

The 23-year-old rode more than 100 winners in his career.