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 Abe administration will raise the minimum wage by 3 percent each year starting next fiscal year as part of a package of policies aimed at strengthening consumer spending and stoking economic growth. (Japan Times)
A former member of the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly who gained Internet notoriety when he suffered a breakdown during a news conference failed to show up Tuesday for the start of his fraud trial. (Japan Times)
Three bodies have been retrieved from a boat found floating in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Fukui Prefecture on Sunday, two days after a similar discovery in waters off a neighboring prefecture, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 23). (Tokyo Reporter)