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01 January 2012

7.0 earthquake hits eastern Japan

TOKYO — A magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook eastern Japan on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Despite the magnitude, there was no danger of a tsunami, said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos tweeted that he was "about to greet Emperor and Empress for New Year when Imperial Palace began to shake."

The mid-afternoon quake swayed buildings in Tokyo but it did not disrupt the final of the Emperor's Cup football tournament under way at the National Stadium, AFP, the French news agency, reported.

The Meteorological Agency says the offshore quake Sunday struck about 370 kilometers (230 miles) below the sea surface. The agency said there was no danger of a tsunami. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Northeastern Japan was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing. Japan, which lies along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," is one of the world's most seismically active countries.

- MSNBC