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.
More than 1,000 seismic events had been recorded in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures by Thursday in the two weeks since a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck southwestern Japan, while over 30,000 people remain evacuated from their homes. (Japan Today)
Japan has lodged a protest with Taiwan over a statement made by its president challenging Tokyo's claim to waters in the Pacific. Ma Ying-jeou described Japan's southernmost island as a rock around which it cannot claim an exclusive economic zone. (NHK)
A 28-year-old nursery school teacher who forced a 4-year-old boy to eat fried chicken covered with wasabi and recorded it on her smartphone, has received a suspended sentence from the Tokyo District Court. (Japan Today)