Video from national broadcaster NHK showed dozens of cars, large ferries and some buildings being swept out to sea in the port city of Kamaishi in the province of Iwate.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warming for the entire Pacific coast of Japan following the quake that struck about 125 kilometers off the eastern coast, at a depth of 10 kilometers. Residents in the coastal areas have been urged to immediately evacuate to higher ground.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in the U.S. state of Hawaii said a tsunami warning was also in effect for Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. It said a tsunami watch was issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hawaii.
Friday’s massive quake was felt in Tokyo, where it shook buildings and caused several fires. The Tokyo metro system says all train and subway traffic in the city has been stopped.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has convened an emergency meeting of the Cabinet to assess the situation.