Tokyo stocks closed at a fresh four-month low on Wednesday, with a strong yen hitting exporters and erasing early gains.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.43 percent, or 90.51 points, to 21,154.17, while the broader Topix index was down 0.82 percent, or 14.06 points, at 1,702.72.
The tracked Wall Street higher at the open after US markets gained for a third straight session but selling pressure emerged owing to the strengthening yen, which briefly hit highs not seen since November 2016.
Photo taken on February 9, 2018 shows businessmen walk past a stock market indicator board in Tokyo, Japan. Asia stock markets plunged significantly after a turbulent week on Wall Street. The Nikkei 225 fell more than three percent today and closed off at 21,382.62 points. (VCG photo)
"The strong yen was a selling driver today," said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
"Volatile trading is expected to continue at least for the rest of the week as the market remains sensitive for now," Sato told AFP.
The dollar fetched 107.22 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 107.83 yen in New York and 108.09 yen in Tokyo on Tuesday. It had fallen at on point in the afternoon to as low as 106.84 yen.
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten fell 1.76 percent to 918.4 yen despite its fourth quarter earnings matching market expectations.
Toyota dropped 2.11 percent to 7,122 yen with Nintendo down 0.20 percent at 44,310 yen.
Panasonic slipped 1.94 yen percent to 1,562.5 yen while Sony fell 0.41 percent to 5,078 yen.
However, Toshiba jumped 1.92 percent to 318 yen after saying it would swing into the black for the full fiscal year as it completes the multi-billion-dollar sale of its chip business to restore its balance sheet.