Tokyo: A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake
hit a wide area in eastern and northeastern Japan on Sunday,
rattling buildings in Tokyo and jolting the nation still
recovering from last year`s quake-tsunami mega-disaster.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injury and
no tsunami warning was issued.
The quake struck at 10:58 IST, Japan`s Meteorological
Agency said, as Emperor Akihito led the country`s New Year
celebrations by asking people to work together in rebuilding
the nation from March`s disaster.
There was no immediate information about abnormalities at
nuclear reactors including those of the crippled Fukushima
Daiichi power plant, Kyodo News agency reported.
The epicentre of the quake was located near Torishima, a
northwestern Pacific island about 560 kilometres south of
The mid-afternoon quake swayed buildings in Tokyo and
Meanwhile, in a New Year message, Emperor Akihito said:
"Our country is now going through difficult times because of
the earthquake and other factors."
"But I hope that the people`s hearts will always be with
the afflicted, and that everyone will persevere and work
together to build a brighter tomorrow."
Japan lies along the Pacific "ring of fire," an area of
high seismic and volcanic activity.
Last year, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit
northeastern Japan, leaving thousands of people dead or
The March 11 earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves
and sparked a nuclear crisis in the country.