Stocks turned down on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, pressured by position-adjusting sales.
The 225-issue Nikkei average closed down 70.85 points, or 0.53 percent, at 13,388.86. On Thursday, the key market gauge climbed 121.25 points.
The TOPIX index of all First Section issues fell 10.46 points, or 0.94 percent, to end at 1,106.65 after advancing 2.48 points the previous day.
Stocks were buoyant in early trading after the European and U.S. markets advanced overnight partly thanks to better-than-expected U.S. economic data and receding concerns about the situation in Syria. Also helped by the yen's weakness, the Nikkei average briefly rose more than 150 points shortly after the opening bell.
But the market lost steam soon as investors moved to sell stocks to adjust their positions ahead of the weekend and a host of key events next week.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday called the killing of a Japanese captive by Islamic State militants "outrageous" and again demanded the group release a second Japanese national they are holding. (Reuters)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday it is highly likely that an image purporting to show that one of the two Japanese hostages being held by a group believed to be Islamic State has been killed is authentic. (Kyodo)
With his record-setting 33rd Emperor's Cup already in the bag, yokozuna Hakuho added a perfect 15-0 finish to his accomplishments on the final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 25. (Asahi)
A former senior Aum Supreme Truth cult member on death row testified about how the cult's leader ordered his followers to commit a series of deadly crimes, at the trial of a fellow former member at the Tokyo District Court on Friday. (The Japan News)
The former AKB48 idol Anna Mori is crowdfunding her first photobook after recently turning 20 years old (the "age of majority" in Japan, similar to turning 18 in the U.S.) and quickly raised 2,000,000 yen (about US$16,957) with a little help from some unique backer rewards. Mori offered threedates for backers who paid 200,000 yen (US$1,695).
A former senior Aum Supreme Truth cult member on death row claimed responsibility for a fellow former member's involvement in a series of Aum-committed deadly crimes, in a trial at Tokyo District Court on Wednesday. (The Japan News)