The epicenter of the quake was at a depth of 60 kilometres, the agency said, adding that a tsunami warning had not been issued.
The epicentre was 73.8km northeast of Namie, Fukushima, and 60km from the coast but the impact could be felt as far away as Tokyo.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the 11:08 p.m. quake's seismic intensity - upper 6 on the Japanese scale of 7 - was the strongest to occur off the country's northeastern coast since April 7, 2011, about a month after the March 11 quake that subsequently caused core meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He said that some trains in northeastern Japan had stopped running, and that other damage was still being checked. A tsunami warning was not issued.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga headed into his office immediately after reports of the quake, and a crisis center was set up there.
Kato said there were no irregularities at the Onagawa nuclear facility. Items fell off shelves because of the shaking, NHK said.
Fortunately, the quake has not caused any deaths or serious material damage thus far.
According to Japan Atomic Power Company, no abnormalities have been observed at the Tokai No. 2 Nuclear Power Plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.
The quake came almost 10 years since a more powerful quake caused a massive tsunami to hit Fukushima prefecture on March 11, 2011, killing 16,000 people and causing three nuclear reactors to meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.