Tokyo stocks fell 0.69% today on nervousness over the international response to alleged chemical weapon use in Syria.
The Nikkei 225 index closed 93.91 points lower at 13,542.37, while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.52%, or 5.98 points, to 1,134.02.
"Longer-term investors see a whole host of broader political and macroeconomic factors - including rising tensions over Syria, US Fed tapering worries, German elections, Greek bailout chatter - as too powerful to encourage meaningful investment in equities at the moment," said an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage.
"The wait-and-see approach is seen as safest right now," the broker told Dow Jones Newswires.
CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith said: "Military conflicts in the Middle East tend to lift energy prices, but Syria is a bit different in that the nation has little oil and only a marginal economic impact, so the impact on global markets may be limited."
Among major shares, Toyota dropped 0.81% to 6,160 yen (RM209.12). Mobile carrier SoftBank fell 0.48% to 6,240 yen.
Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, became on Tuesday the nation's first municipality to adopt an ordinance allowing it to issue certificates recognizing same-sex relationships as being "equivalent to marriage." (Japan Times)
In the wake of the suspicious crash of a Germanwings jet, the transport ministry is moving quickly to require all Japanese airlines to have two crew members in the cockpit at all times during flights. (Asahi)
The Japanese government said Monday it will send up to 142,600 personnel in emergency teams within 72 hours to 10 prefectures that are expected to suffer tremendous damage in the event of a major earthquake at the Nankai Trough off Japan's Pacific coast. (Jiji Press)
A third-party committee investigating the deaths of 11 patients who received laparoscopic surgery at the Chiba Cancer Center said Monday that at least seven patients received treatment without prior ethical screening despite the extremely difficult nature of the operations, which were not covered by public health insurance. (The Japan News)
An elementary school teacher in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, has been arrested after it was discovered that he had lied to a newspaper reporter regarding the presence of a foreign substance in a rice ball ("onigiri") lunch that he purchased at a convenience store. (Japan Today)
In the first application in Tokyo of a law that seeks to restrict the distribution of sexually explicit content for revenge purposes, police on Friday announced the arrest of a 50-year-old male for releasing illicit images of his former girlfriend, reports the Sankei Shimbun (March 27). (Tokyo Reporter)