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.
Tokyo labor regulators sent their investigation papers on footwear retailer ABC-Mart Inc. <2670> to prosecutors on Thursday, accusing the company of having forced employees to work illegally long overtime hours. (Jiji Press)
Reigning champions Japan will meet the United States in the Women's World Cup final for the second tournament in a row after a 2-1 defeat of England on Wednesday, victory coming after a cruel and unlucky injury-time own goal from Laura Bassett. (Kyodo)
The nation's population stood at 126,163,576 as of Jan. 1 this year, down 271,058, or 0.21 percent, from a year before, marking the steepest fall ever, a government survey said Wednesday. (The Japan News)
Police in Kanagawa Prefecture have arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of stealing a bag belonging to the director-general of the Civil Aviation Bureau, while he was on a train last month. The bag contained a tablet computer which contained confidential information as well as a contact list for emergencies. (Japan Today)
A 71-year-old man who set himself on fire on a shinkansen bullet train Tuesday had repeatedly complained that the pension he received was not enough to live on, one of his neighbors said Wednesday. (Kyodo)