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The earthquake struck at a depth of 20km 165km south east of Hachijo-jima
A strong earthquake measuring magnitude 6.0 on the Richter scale has struck off the coast of Japan, according to US Geological Survey.

The earthquake struck at around 4:42pm local tiime (7:42am UK time) 165km south east of Hachijo-jima, a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea.

The island, home to around 8,000 people, is approximately 287km south of Tokyo, Japan's capital.

Powerful earthquakes are not unusual in Japan, which is situated on the Ring of Fire, where an estimated 80% of the world's earthquakes strike.

There are no immediate reports of casualties or damaged buildings on the island or further afield on the Japanese mainland.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is yet to issue any tsunami warnings.

The 20km deep earthquake struck a safe distance from Japan's stricken Fukishima nuclear plant - which suffered a meltdown after a 9.0 earthquake hit in 2011.

The monstorous earthquake sent a tsunami racng towards Japan that flooded the reactor, causing three nuclear meltdowns.

At least 20,000 were killed and went missing as a result of the earthquake - the fourth-largest in world since measurements began in 1900.