Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index closed lower on Thursday, extending falls on Wall Street, as investors locked in profits from recent rises.
The Nikkei 225 index, which hit near-three-decade highs earlier this month, fell 0.36%, or 93.80 points, to 25 634.34, but the broader Topix index gained 0.33%, or 5.76 points, to 1,726.41.
"Investors continued to cash in on recent gains" after watching US shares falling overnight, said Shinichi Yamamoto, a broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.
Wall Street stocks fell for a second straight session, tumbling after New York City ordered public schools closed, with anxiety over the coronavirus deepening.
"But market sentiment here remains solid and bargain-hunting can emerge at any time," Yamamoto told AFP.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that Japan was on "maximum alert" after the number of daily infection cases across the nation topped 2,000 for the first time.
"But the impact on the market appeared limited as the government did not announce fresh restrictions," Yamamoto said.
The dollar fetched 103.78 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 103.85 yen in New York late Wednesday.
In Tokyo, airlines were among losers, with Japan Airlines falling 0.80% to 1,960 yen and ANA Holdings down 0.19% at 2 564 yen on profit-taking.
Toyota lost 0.24% to 7,301 yen but Sony rise 0.12% to 9 249 yen.
Panasonic jumped 1.63% at 1 086.5 yen after the firm said it has signed a partnership with two Norwegian firms to develop a "green battery" business targeting the European market, including for electric cars.