Japan's Nikkei index suffered its biggest percentage fall for a month as a stronger yen weighed on exporters. The Nikkei 225 index closed down 393.18 points, or 2.3%, at 16,562.55.
Elsewhere in Asia, China's Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% to 2,917.31, while in Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index was also 0.1% higher at 20,784.80. South Korea's Kospi index closed up 0.1% at 1,985.11.
In Australia, the S&P ASX/200 index ended the day down 44.27 points, or 0.8%, at 5,278.90.