TOKYO: A strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit off Japan's coast east of Tokyo on Friday, the country's meteorological agency said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

Large buildings in the capital shook and train services stopped temporarily as the quake hit at a depth of 50 kilometres (31 miles) at 7:03 pm local time (1003 GMT) in Pacific waters off Japan's Chiba region.

The US Geological Survey also reported the quake, giving the same magnitude.

No abnormalities were detected at nuclear plants around the region, the country's nuclear authority said.

Moments before Tokyo residents felt shaking, Japan's advance warning system for earthquakes prompted television networks to alert the arrival of a potentially large shake.

“It was like being on a boat floating on water -- sideways rocking that seemed to go on for more than 30 seconds,“ an NHK presenter in Chiba said after the quake hit.

Japan has strict construction regulations intended to ensure buildings can withstand strong earthquakes, and routinely holds emergency drills to prepare for a major jolt.

In early May, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Japan's central Ishikawa region, leaving one person dead and 49 injured.

The country is haunted by the memory of a massive 9.0-magnitude undersea quake off northeastern Japan in March 2011, which triggered a tsunami that left around 18,500 people dead or missing.

The 2011 tsunami also sent three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing Japan's worst post-war disaster and the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl. - AFP