TOKYO (AP) _ A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1 struck the northwestern coast of Japan on Sunday, but no damage was reported.

The quake hit near the port of Sakata in Yamagata prefecture, about 250 miles north of Tokyo, the Meteorological Agency reported.

The agency said the epicenter was about 12.5 miles beneath the ground.

It said there was no danger of tsunami, tidal waves that are sometimes triggered by earthquakes.

The agency said the quake was felt by residents on dry land but the jolts were relatively mild.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone nations as it sits atop four tectonic plates, slabs of land that move across the earth's surface.