Japanese investors are looking ahead to a flurry of corporate earnings next week as the US Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan hold policy meetings amid speculation of further easing, analysts said.
In the week to April 20, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.80 per cent, or 76.63 points, at 9,561.36.
The broader Topix index of all first-section issues slipped 0.43 per cent, or 3.54 points, to 811.94.
Daisuke Uno, chief market strategist of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, said market sentiment was largely negative over Japanese and US corporate earnings. "You can tell by looking at US shares being under pressure," he said.
Investors were also awaiting a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee and a Bank of Japan (BoJ) policy meeting, both next week, with speculation rife that policymakers may loosen monetary policy.
"Investor appetite is going to be limited at least until more evidence of further monetary easing," said Mattia Ciancaleoni, director of equity sales at Citigroup Global Markets Japan.
But Tatsunori Kawai, chief strategist at kabu.com Securities, said Japanese shares will otherwise be lacking trading cues.
"The momentum of overseas markets isn't encouraging for equity investors, while currency markets — normally a catalyst for Japan shares — aren't helping, either," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
The dollar was changing hands at 81.64 yen (Dh3.70) in Tokyo late afternoon trade, from 81.60 yen in New York late Thursday.
The euro fetched $1.3147 and 107.26 yen, against $1.3134 and 107.19 yen, amid hopes that the International Monetary Fund will achieve its target of raising $400 billion as a firewall against future debt crises.