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.
Trade chiefs from 12 countries involved in an ambitious Pacific free trade initiative started a three-day meeting Saturday in Sydney in a bid to make progress toward a U.S.-proposed goal of reaching a deal by year-end. (Kyodo)
Japan will check the recent travel histories of all people arriving at international airports in the country to identify those who have visited Ebola-affected West African countries, the health ministry said Friday. (The Japan News)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)