What does this mean?
The earthquake in Japan shortened the day.
If you measure a day as one rotation of the earth then each hour and second is shorter. You work less each day, you have less time to sleep and play. But time is measured by the second, which is defined in terms of radiation emitted by caesium atoms and this has not changed. If your boss uses caesium atoms to measure eight hours then you work the same each day, but have even less time to play and sleep. Most people know that we have a leap day every four years, but you may not know we also have a leap second every several years. So you may have less time today, but this will be made up by adding a leap second in the future. (Actually, there are many other factors at work here that speed up or slow down the earth's rotation, and there is the question of whether time actually exists, but these need to be discussed in a future blog.)
The earth shifted on its axis.
I couldn't find out which direction the earth shifted. One direction would increase the size of the tropics. The other way would decrease the size of the tropics.
It moved Japan 2.5 meters closer to the United States. All I have is more questions here. Is Japan now farther from China? Is the circumference of the earth shorter through Japan? (Japan is two feet short than before the earthquake.) Is the U.S. 2.5 meters closer to Europe? Only more research will tell.