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.
A Japanese reporter indicted on charges of defaming South Korean President Park Geun Hye in an article about her whereabouts during April's deadly ferry disaster pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing Thursday at the Seoul Central District Court. (Kyodo)
Otsu District Court turned down demands Thursday from local residents to block the restart of four nuclear reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s <9503> Oi and Takahama power stations in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan. (Jiji Press)
The Utsunomiya District Court in Tochigi Prefecture on Wednesday convicted two men over the illegal disposal of a body after they dumped the body of a young woman in a cardboard box near a quarry in Sano on Aug 4. (Japan Today)
The number of people injured in the earthquake that struck northern Nagano Prefecture over the weekend has risen to 45, according to prefectural authorities, while 690 houses were left without running water. (Japan Times)
The fraudulent composer once dubbed "Japan's Beethoven" is facing a lawsuit over the cancellation of his tour after it emerged he lied about his work and relied on a ghostwriter, reports said Tuesday.
Police in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, said Tuesday that around 16,000 New Year greeting cards ("nengajo") have been stolen from 26 Lawson convenience stores. Security cameras have captured footage of two men who are believed to be the thieves. (Japan Today)