Even so, the buildings swayed in the Japanese capital, where many offices were closed for the Marine Day holiday.
The quake toppled houses, sparked a fire at the world's largest nuclear power plant, and stopped train services in Niigata Prefecture.
A second quake of magnitude 6.8 hit the Sea of Japan later at midnight.
The coastal city of Kashiwazaki endured most of the damage. Three hundred homes collapsed, and 3,000 people were evacuated. At least 8 people died—many in their 70s or 80s—and 800 people were injured.
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