Japan Sunday observed the first anniversary of the killer earthquake and tsunami, which struck the north-eastern coast last year.

On March 3, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude quake, the most powerful to record, hit Japan at 14:46 local time.

A moment of silence was held at Ofunato, at 14:46 local time. It was exactly at this time last year that the devastating quake struck the country, and the killer tsunami hit 33 minutes later.

The main memorial ceremony was held at New National Theatre in Tokyo which was attended by Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Emperor Akihito.

Warning sirens, bells and prayers sounded across the north-east of the country at the precise time.

Check out the photos.