Tokyo stocks opened marginally higher before slipping into negative territory on Friday, with investors watching details of incoming US president Joe Biden's plan for new stimulus.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.24% or 69.83 points to 28 768.09 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.13% or 2.36 points at 1 875.64.
"The Japanese market is seen keeping a positive note from the previous session following modest falls on Wall Street but profit-taking could weigh on share prices," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a note.
And the markets wobbled into negative territory about 30 minutes after the opening bell, with the Nikkei trading down 0.11%.
The dollar fetched 103.77 yen against 103.74 yen in New York late Thursday.
Shortly after US markets closed, details emerged of the Biden plan, which proposes $1.9 trillion to revitalise the US economy as it faces an onslaught of coronavirus cases.
US indices finished lower following a choppy session. Still, equity markets remain near all-time highs as investors look ahead to a better 2021 economy thanks to coronavirus vaccines.
In Tokyo, Canon rallied 5.83% to 2 195.5 yen after it revised up forecasts for full-year operating profit.
Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was down 1.72% at 92 050 yen on profit-taking after it reported a 23% jump in operating profit for the September-November quarter.
On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.2% at 30 991.52.