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.
Tokyo labor regulators sent their investigation papers on footwear retailer ABC-Mart Inc. <2670> to prosecutors on Thursday, accusing the company of having forced employees to work illegally long overtime hours. (Jiji Press)
Reigning champions Japan will meet the United States in the Women's World Cup final for the second tournament in a row after a 2-1 defeat of England on Wednesday, victory coming after a cruel and unlucky injury-time own goal from Laura Bassett. (Kyodo)
The nation's population stood at 126,163,576 as of Jan. 1 this year, down 271,058, or 0.21 percent, from a year before, marking the steepest fall ever, a government survey said Wednesday. (The Japan News)
Police in Kanagawa Prefecture have arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of stealing a bag belonging to the director-general of the Civil Aviation Bureau, while he was on a train last month. The bag contained a tablet computer which contained confidential information as well as a contact list for emergencies. (Japan Today)
A 71-year-old man who set himself on fire on a shinkansen bullet train Tuesday had repeatedly complained that the pension he received was not enough to live on, one of his neighbors said Wednesday. (Kyodo)