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.
Economic damage from the recent strong earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture and nearby areas in southwestern Japan stands between some 2.4 trillion yen and 4.6 trillion yen, an estimate by the Cabinet Office said Monday. (Jiji Press)
Hyogo Prefectural Police have arrested a 67-year-old man for attacking a 61-year-old female neighbor and her daughter, who later died, at an apartment building in Amagasaki City, reports NHK (May 20). (Tokyo Reporter)
A group of more than 700 people have filed a lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court seeking to block the construction of a magnetically levitated train line near their homes by Central Japan Railway Co. (Japan Today)