The following are the most serious earthquakes and tsunami waves to have hit Japan over the last 60 years:
April 14 and 16, 2016: Two earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 and 7.3 strike Kumamoto prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, leaving 50 dead and 2,500 injured.
Mach 11, 2011: A magnitude-9 quake and a resulting tsunami hit north-eastern Japan, killing about 18,500. The twin natural disasters cause the country's worst nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
October 23, 2004: 68 die and 4,800 are injured after a magnitude-6.8 quake devastates the Chuetsu region in Niigata prefecture in central Japan.
January 17, 1995: A magnitude-7.3 quake rocks the major western city of Kobe, killing 6,434. About 7,000 houses are destroyed by blazes, according to government statistics. Many of the deaths are blamed on the failure to contain the fire sooner.
July 12, 1993: More than 200 people die on Okushiri Island and its surrounding areas in northern Japan after a magnitude-7.8 quake and tsunamis of up to 29 metres hit the region.
May 26, 1983: A magnitude-7.7 quake strikes off Akita prefecture, triggering a tsunami that hits the Sea of Japan coast. The twin disasters claim the lives of 104 people.
May 23, 1960: 22.5 hours after a magnitude-9.5 quake rocks Chile, tsunami waves of up to 6 metres hit north-eastern Japan, leaving 142 dead.