The earthquake shook Hyogo prefecture and its surrounding areas in western Japan today early morning, a report said.
The quake, registering a preliminary magnitude of 6, occurred at 5:33 am. The epicentre of the quake was near Awaji island in Hyogo prefecture around 10 km underground, Japan Meteorological Agency said.
Sixteen people suffered minor injuries in prefectures of Hyogo, Okayama and Osaka in the quake, media reported.
The Japanese government has set up a task force at the prime minister's office following the quake.
The West Japan Railway Company said it had suspended many of its train services in Hyogo prefecture and surrounding areas.
A devastating quake struck Kobe and surrounding areas in Hyogo in 1995, killing over 6,000 people and injuring more than 40,000.