The Japan's 8.9 magnitude quake plays a major role how the earth's axis was changed! It also pushes the island much closer to the United States.
According to the AP, Japan's quake caused a rift 15 miles below the sea floor that stretched 186 miles long and 93 miles wide. Geophysicist Ross Stein of the United States Geological Survey told The New York Times that the areas closest to the quake's epicenter jumped a full 13 feet closer to the United States.
You can see on the pictures above the before and after the 8.9 magnitude quake of the Japan's position taken by NASA. Eastern Japan is now actually 13 feet closer to North America. Also, picture on the uppermost shows that the Earth's axis was shifted by 6.5 inches after the quake, thus shortened the day by 1.6 microseconds, and pushed Japan by approximately 2 feet downward!
Why does the day shortened you might ask? The quake actually shifted the Earth's mass into its center and accelerates its spin a bit faster. By history, last year's 8.8 magnitude quake in Chile shortened the day but of a bit smaller fraction of a second. The 2004 Sumatra quake shortened the day by whooping 6.8 microseconds!