Added by David Sandercock on March 18, 2011
The massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit northeastern Japan last week shifted the island more than two metres further away from its neighbour, scientists say.
The Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASSI) said that as a result of the earthquake Japan has moved 2.4 metres east away from the Korean peninsula. The peninsula itself also shifted some five centimetres east.
The Dokdo Islands, or Takeshima as they are called by the Japanese, a disputed region in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) also shifted five centimetres east, as they are relatively closer to the epicentre of the earthquake.
Consequently, Japan and Korea are now more than two metres further away from each other than they were before the quake struck.
A KASSA spokewoman told AFP: “We are closely monitoring to see whether the shift was temporary or perpetual.” She added: “But don’t worry. You will never feel the change anyway.”
NASA also reported that the quake caused a 16.5 centimetre shift in the Earth’s axis and shortened Earth’s day by a little over one-millionth of a second.