The government in Tokyo has set up an emergency committee to deal with the after-effects of a powerful earthquake which rocked the north-east part of the country.
The tremor measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, damaging buildings, disrupting road and rail services and affecting production at some high-tech factories.
But seismologists say the quake’s epicentre was 120 kilometres deep underground and had it been closer to the surface the effects would have been considerably more devastating.
More than a 100 people were injured, 16 of them seriously. Many had been hit by falling glass or rubble.
The tremor was the latest in a series to hit the sparsley populated regions of Iwate and Aomori areas. There has already been a magnitude 5 aftershock.