Tokyo shares rose 0.21 percent Wednesday in choppy trade as investors await the release of minutes from the US Federal Reserve's July meeting.
The Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed 27.95 points higher at 13,424.33, but the Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.31 percent, or 3.53 points, to 1,121.74.
The benchmark Nikkei index opened higher after a broadly positive lead from Wall Street fuelled by some solid retail earnings reports.
The Dow ended slightly lower, but the S&P 500 gained 0.38 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.68 percent.
The Nikkei index then repeated ups and downs in mid-day trade before ending in positive territory as the yen reversed early gains against the dollar.
The greenback bought 97.60 yen in afternoon trade, compared with 97.32 yen in New York Tuesday.
With the US showing signs of improvement, analysts say the Fed will likely slow its bond-buying programme.
All eyes are on the release Wednesday of minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting, with dealers looking for clues to its next move.
“In the absence of domestic trading cues, global factors such as the Fed's minutes and China's PMI (purchasing managers index) data may offer a turning point for the Nikkei,” Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Banking giant HSBC is due Thursday to release the preliminary results of its PMI of Chinese manufacturing activity, which will give more clues about the state of the world's number two economy.
In Tokyo stock trading, Sony rose 0.51 percent to 1,937 yen by the close, while Toyota dropped 2.11 percent to 6,030 yen.
Tokyo Electric Power slumped 9.28 percent to 557 yen after the Fukushima operator said 300 tonnes of radioactive water is believed to have leaked from a tank at the stricken plant. -Sapa-AFP