Western Japan was hit by a strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake on Friday, but there was no immediate tsunami risk.
The earthquake, at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), struck Tottori prefecture around 2:00 pm (0500 GMT).
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but television images showed severe shaking in the region.
Japan At Mercy Of Earthquake
Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year. Strict enforcement of rigid building codes have ensured little damage.
In 2011, a massive undersea quake caused tsunami in Japan’s northeast coast. This left more than 18,000 people dead or missing. It also sent three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Southern Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture was also hit by two strong earthquakes hit in April. This was followed by more than 1,700 aftershocks. It left 50 dead and caused widespread damage.