JUPITER and Saturn are currently straddling the earth and the moon was over Tokyo and closer to the earth than usual at about the time of the massive earthquake. Standing on the moon it would have looked something like this (see image). Those who take an interest in such issues would say that the gravitational pulls on that part of the Earth would have been considerable at the time of the earthquake.
From Ken Ring:
“The planets very much affect the earth, indirectly, by having an effect on the Sun. Some planets are very large. If the Sun was a basketball the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn would be the size of grapeftuits, and the Earth would be, on that scale, the size of a peppercorn.
“Jupiter and Saturn cause extra tides on the Sun when they get on either side of the Sun (as with Moon – Earth-Sun when the moon is full) and when these gas giants get on the same side as the Sun, (as with Earth -Moon – Sun when the moon is new). These greater solar tides become sunspot activity and solar flares and can be understood as akin to the increase in tides caused by the Moon when it too gets alongside Earth or opposite Earth.
[Images via Alan Siddons – thanks Alan.]
UPDATE … More from Alan Siddons
If the moon were directly overhead in Tokyo, for instance, the two positions would be the same. As it is, you can see that the moon was several degrees south and east at the moment. Here’s a more concrete demonstration, then.
This fish eye depiction is of Toyko’s view-point at the time (click on image for a larger view). I removed the atmosphere so you could see other planets. The spot where all the lines converge is zenith, 90°, so the moon was nearly overhead — at 66° 10’, to be more precise.