Tokyo stocks slipped 0.26 percent in subdued trade on Thursday ahead of the Independence Day holiday in the United States while a slightly stronger yen also added to selling pressure.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 36.63 points to 14,018.93, while the Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.26 percent, or 3.10 points, to 1,170.71.
The dip in Tokyo comes after the Dow in New York added 0.38 percent in shortened pre-July 4 holiday trade.
"The lack of participation caused by the US holiday should contribute to a limited trading range for the (Tokyo) market," SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.
Investors are keeping a close eye on a monthly US jobs report Friday for clues as to when the Federal Reserve will start reeling in its massive bond-buying programme, known was quantitative easing.
The Diet, Japan's parliament, on Thursday enacted revisions to the My Number law to link the new national identification numbers to bank accounts on a voluntary basis from 2018 and to basic pension numbers by May 2017. (Jiji Press)
Japan's government and ruling camp are considering unifying liquor tax rates on beer and quasi-beer that now depend on the amount of malt the beverages contain, informed sources said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
The North Pacific Fisheries Commission on Thursday agreed to take steps to curb an increase in saury fishing boats to help protect fish stock in northern Pacific waters over the long term. (Jiji Press)
The town of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture began its controversial dolphin hunt on Thursday after bad weather delayed the start, according to a local fisheries official, while a separate whaling hunt is due to start at the weekend. (Japan Today)
Police charged 689 people in January-June for the possession, smuggling and use of government-designated "dangerous" drugs, or quasi-narcotics, and related crimes and accidents, the National Police Agency said Thursday. (The Japan News)
Police investigating the murder of a 25-year-old woman in her apartment in Tokyo's Nakano Ward last week, said pieces of a man's skin were found under her fingernails. However, police said a DNA analysis was unable to match it with any of the victim's male acquaintances, Fuji TV reported Thursday. (Japan Today)
Osaka Prefectural Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of a 20-year-old university student for the theft of two sports cars, one of which was used at a racing circuit, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Sep. 3). (Tokyo Reporter)
After a week of speculation, law enforcement said on Tuesday that Japan's largest crime syndicate has chosen to expel 13 affiliate groups, a move that essentially results in the dissolution of the gang, reports the Kobe Shimbun (Sep. 1). (Tokyo Reporter)
Chiba Prefectural Police on Wednesday busted a hostess club in Chiba City for licensing violations, with the business being a source of revenue for organized crime, reports TBS News (Sep. 2). (Tokyo Reporter)