Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday, the last trading day of the year, as investors locked in profits after US shares retreated from record highs.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which hit a 30-year high on Tuesday, fell 0.24 percent, or 67.16 points, to 27,500.99 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.59 percent, or 10.80 points, at 1,808.38.
"Japanese shares are likely to have a breather, negatively reacting to a retreat in US shares," Okasan Online Securities said.
Wall Street closed lower Tuesday after the Senate blocked a move to boost federal stimulus checks to $2,000, sending indices retreating from records set the day before.
Much of Monday's upbeat sentiment came after US President Donald Trump signed off on a $900-billion coronavirus relief package, as well as a $1.4 trillion budget to fund the government.
"Caution remains high following the fast gains" of Japanese shares on Tuesday, Okasan said.
The Nikkei index had jumped more than two percent to its highest closing figure since August 1990 on hopes for economic recovery.
The dollar fetched 103.51 yen in early Asian trade against 103.55 on Tuesday in New York.
In Tokyo share trading, Sony dropped 0.96 percent to 10,290 yen with Toyota down 0.54 percent at 7,970 yen on profit-taking.
But Nintendo gained 0.85 percent to 66,420 yen, with Japan Airlines also up 0.92 percent at 1,956 yen.