Tokyo - Japanese shares rose on Thursday after a weak start, lifted by gains on other Asian bourses and purchases by investors who sought out cheap stocks after recent losses.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 46.38 points, or 0.51 per cent, to close at 9,178.12 after falling 0.27 percent on Wednesday.

The broader-based Topix index was up 1.86 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 764.59 after losing 0.33 percent on Wednesday.

By mid-afternoon, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index had added 1.1 percent, and China's Shanghai Composite Index had gained 0.38 percent.

Shares in Advantest Corp surged 2.46 per cent, Canon Inc rose 1.37 per cent, Sharp Corp climbed 1.1 per cent and factory robotics producer Fanuc Corp put on 0.38 per cent.

On currency markets at 3 pm (0600 GMT), the dollar traded at 78.54-56 yen, down from Wednesday's 5pm quote of 79.29-30 yen.

The euro was quoted at 98.45-47 yen, down from 98.79-83 yen late on Wednesday, and at 1.2533-2534 dollars, up from 1.2459-2460 dollars. - Sapa-dpa