Somali MPs want to grill NISA director over security lapse
Many injuries were reported from Pacific coastal areas of the main Honshu island and the capital Tokyo, police said, while TV footage showed widespread flooding in the area. One person was confirmed dead.
A powerful 10-metre (33 feet) wall of water was reported in Sendai in northeastern Miyagi prefecture, media reported after a four-metre wave hit the coast earlier.
Helicopter footage showed massive inundation in northern coastal towns, where floods of black water sent shipping containers, cars and debris crashing through towns.
Mud waves were shown racing upstream along the Natori river in Sendai city, blanketing farm fields.
In the capital, where millions evacuated strongly swaying buildings, multiple injuries were reported when the roof of a hall collapsed during a graduation ceremony, police said.
Plumes of smoke rose from at least 10 locations in city, where four million homes suffered power outages. Port areas were flooded, including the carpark of Tokyo Disneyland.
The first quake struck just under 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by several aftershocks, one as strong as 7.1.
"We were shaken so strongly for a while that we needed to hold on to something in order not to fall," said an official at the local government of the hardest-hit city of Kurihara in Miyagi prefecture.
She got in trouble after vowing to put forward the controversial gender bill to the house for approval amid the public uproar about allegations of anti-Islam points in the law.