We are sharing this with you in response to the Japan earthquake earlier today. Building earthquake resistant structures is an ongoing challenge and Japan is continually designing for and sensitive to its earthquake prone location. Their research includes the E-Defense Shake Table in Japan which is one of the most prominent shaking tables associated with earthquake engineering research.
Structures such as the Yokohama Landmark Tower utilize earthquake resistant techniques incorporating a flexible structure to absorb the force of earthquakes. Also a simple roller bearing technique is often integrated into a design, isolating the base of a building and providing protection of various building and non-building structures against potentially damaging lateral impacts of strong earthquakes. Sometimes this metallic bearing support is adapted to provide seismic isolation for skyscrapers and buildings on soft ground.