As of 2014, approximately 1,500 earthquakes strike Japan every year. According to the Royal Geographical Society, there are around 17 magnitude 7 — extremely strong — earthquakes that hit per year.
Minor tremors can be felt nearly on a daily basis, and deadly earthquakes continue to be a fact of life for residents of Japan. Japan sits on top of four huge slabs of the earth’s crust, also known as tectonic plates. These plates constantly mash and grind together, including the deadly 9.0 earthquake that occurred in March 2011. The quake triggered a tsunami that killed an estimated 29,000 people. It was the largest earthquake recorded in Japan’s history.