The Nikkei stock index recouped losses Wednesday, gaining 1.46 percent as robust industrial production data lifted the market mood, which was further supported in later trade by solid performances on other Asian bourses.
The Nikkei 225 index added 224.00 points to close at 15,553.91, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues gained 1. 49 percent, or 18.64 points, to finish at 1,270.64.
Local traders said that data released just before the opening bell here helped motivate buying.
Japan's September industrial production posted its biggest rise in eight months, rising 2.7 percent on-month, compared to 1.9 percent retreat logged a month earlier, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said.
The rise in factory output was bigger than median market analysts' predictions of a 2.2 percent rise for the month and marks the biggest rise since the beginning of this year.
But data released showed that on a quarterly basis industrial output slumped 1.9 percent in the July-September period, following a 3.8 percent drop in the April-June period.
"Industrial production fluctuates indecisively," METI said in its monthly report, an upgraded assessment on the previous month's view that production "has weakened."
Investors were also encouraged by some positive reports by Japan Inc. as earnings season swings into top gear this week. Some analysts also pointed out that the yen's recent retreat had been of befit to corporations' bottom lines.
"Investors are expecting earnings to improve with the yen falling further. The U.S. economy is getting better and earnings are mostly good, and Japanese stocks remain relatively cheap," Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said.
Despite investors' focus shifting to the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting on Friday, at which the Fed is widely expected to announce it will continue to taper its stimulus program, some investors are keenly awaiting clues as to any shift in its future interest rate policy. But market sentiment remained positive, aided by other Asian stock markets' continued march into positive territory.
With the dollar changing hands at 108.13 yen in Tokyo in afternoon trade, from 107.86 yen in Tokyo logged on Tuesday, exporters were given a boost as they rely on a weaker yen to augment overseas profits.
Among automaker issues, Toyota accelerated 1.45 percent to 6, 262 yen, but smaller rival Honda reversed 0.07 percent to close at 3,303 yen, following the firm cutting its full-year earnings forecast, after a number of high-profile international recalls.
Consumer electronics giant Sony leapt 5.42 percent to 2,001 yen, following media reports suggesting the firm will, despite its slumping smartphone business, leave unchanged its annual profit and earnings forecasts.
Kyoto-based electronics maker Omron jumped 7.6 percent to 4,905 yen, after it raised its full-year net income goal by 23 percent to more than 60 billion yen. Omron also announced a massive share buyback plan.
Nomura, Japan's biggest brokerage, climbed 4.4 percent to 636 yen, after reporting its net income in Q2 has jumped 39 percent to 52.9 billion yen. Nomura said it now plans to buy back up to 40 million shares, or the equivalent of 1 percent of its outstanding stock, between Nov. 13 and Jan. 16.
Koito Manufacturing also closed up, leaping 8.5 percent to 3, 125 yen, after raising its full-year net-income forecast 22 percent to 35 billion yen and Hitachi Construction Machinery advanced 3.9 percent to 2,152 yen, after its Q1 operating profit came in at 25.4 billion yen, beating estimates for 22.4 billion yen.
Online shopping behemoth Rakuten gained 2.66 percent to close at 1,193 yen, after the e-commerce giant said it plans to start a mobile phone service.
But Takata crashed down 5.63 percent to 1,440 yen, as their faulty airbags forced the recall of millions of vehicles, with the firm possibly being held accountable in a number of fatalities related to the defective airbags. A U.S. consumer lawsuit has been filed against the firm.
Trading volume on Wednesday rose to 2.18 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, up from Tuesday's volume of 1.87 billion shares, with advancing issues outnumbering declining ones by 1,546 to 225.