Japan has been hit by an earthquake around 10 miles (16km) southwest of Toyoshina, Nagano, Japan. The earthquake struck at 10:05:17 (UTC) at a depth of around six miles (10km) according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The quake struck the region just after 7pm local time.
At this stage it is unclear if the earthquake has cased any injuries at this time.
Toyoshina is a small town in the Minamiazumi District with a population of around 27,000 people.
Toyoshina is located just 145 miles (234km) from the capital of Japan, Tokyo.
On May 11 a similar quake struck the east coast of Japan with a magnitude of 5.5.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, tremors were felt across the Ibaraki prefecture, north of Tokyo, and measured at a depth of 30 miles (50km).
Japan is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes due its proximity to the so-called “Ring of Fire” – located in the basin of the Pacific Ocean.
The horseshoe shaped area – which covers an area of 24,000 miles (40,000km) – is responsible for around 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes.
Earthquakes are caused when the Earth’s plates grind against each other and pressure builds – tremors are then felt when the pressure is released.
Japan’s history has been blighted by a series of devastating earthquake’s which have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of citizens.
The Great Kanto Earthquake – the worst natural disaster in Japanese history, hit the Kanto Plain around Tokyo in 1923.
The quake which had a magnitude of 7.9 – resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 people.
In 1995, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Kobe located in the southern part of Hyōgo Prefecture.
Around 6,000 people were killed, more than 400,000 others were injured and 100,000 homes were destroyed.
Most recently in 2011, the strongest-ever earthquake was recorded in Japan with a magnitude of nine.
The quake in March 2011, triggered a tsunami along the Pacific Coast killing around 20,000.