The Kanto and Tohoku regions were each rocked by strong temblors Wednesday evening, while parts of Hokkaido observed tsunami measuring up to 20 cm.
According to the Meteorological Agency, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 shook the Kanto region surrounding Tokyo on Wednesday night, with Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures logging strong jolts.
The 9:05 p.m. quake measured an upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7 in southern parts of Ibaraki and northeastern parts of Chiba, and 3 in Tokyo, according to the agency.
No tsunami warning was issued following the quake, and no abnormalities were reported at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants in Fukushima Prefecture.
Earlier in the evening, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 jolted the Pacific side of Hokkaido and northeastern Honshu, with tsunami measuring up to 20 cm observed later in some areas of Hokkaido and Aomori prefectures, the agency said.
The quake struck at 6:09 p.m. and registered 4 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale in the Kushiro area of southeastern Hokkaido, and also in parts of Aomori and Iwate prefectures, according to the agency.
The focus of the quake was off the Tohoku region's Sanriku coast, at a depth of about 10 km. The agency issued a tsunami warning for waves of up to 50 cm covering areas of the Pacific coast in Aomori, Iwate and Hokkaido.
A 20-cm tsunami was observed in Hachinohe, Aomori, and 10-cm waves in the town of Erimo in Hokkaido and in Mutsu, Aomori. The warning was lifted at 7:40 p.m.
Residents in coastal areas of Mutsu and Higashidori, also in Aomori, as well as Otsuchi, Rikuzentakata and Ofunato in Iwate, were advised to evacuate following the tsunami warning.
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. said it has detected no abnormalities at its plant for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel in the village of Rokkasho in Aomori since the quake, while Tohoku Electric Power Co. said the temblor has not caused any problems at its nuclear plants in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, and in Higashidori, which have been idled for regular checkups.
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today )
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )
Tokyo prosecutors plan to look into whether a man, who has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing copies of Anne Frank's diary, is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible for his actions, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press )
Apparently perplexed but thrilled to find himself in the spotlight, Iwao Hakamada, formerly the world's longest-serving death-row inmate, made his first public appearance Monday in Tokyo since being released from prison and hospitalized. (Japan Times )
Aichi prefectural police are investigating a possible link between the discovery of the bodies of a husband and wife and their eldest son, and the body of a male relative of the deceased family who was found hanging by his neck in a hotel. (Japan Today )