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.
The probability for the Kanto region to be hit by a powerful earthquake - lower 6 or higher on the Japanese intensity scale of 7 - within 30 years has risen, the government panel's latest quake probability map showed Friday. (The Japan News)
A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on stem cells. (Japan Today)
The Niigata prefectural government started clearing a section of National Highway Route 405 in Tsunan in the prefecture on Friday, after a landslide mixed with snow blocked off about 50 meters of the road the night before. (The Japan News)
The Chiba Public Safety Commission has banned a 29-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, from riding a bicycle for 90 days, after he was found guilty of cycling under the influence of "kiken" quasi-legal drugs. (Japan Times)
Heavy snow caused a power outage along parts of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line for about six hours on Sunday morning, leaving some 300 passengers trapped in a bullet train for 2½ hours near the mountainous southern border of Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Times)