The Nikkei snapped a five-day losing streak Monday, closing up 0.88 percent as the market tracked a healthy showing on Wall Street overnight and the yen's weakness against the U.S. dollar further encouraged buying.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 132.78 points to finish at 15,296.82, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues gained 10.27 points, or 0.82 percent, to close at 1,265.46.
Some local traders believed that as concerns for a Portuguese bank that sent major bourses lower last week receded, the market was supported by bargain hunting, with other Asian markets, including China and South Korea also adding support.
Analysts also said that news from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Monday that Japan's industrial output growth for May was revised upwards to 0.7 percent month-on-month in May, which was more than the 0.5 percent increase estimated in the preliminary report on June 29, with production in April rising 2.8 percent, also lifted the market mood.
Although the ministry said shipments retreated 1 percent in May, inventories also increased by a revised 3 percent month-on-month in June, up slightly from a preliminary estimate, the government data showed.
The government said that on a year-over-year basis, industrial output grew 1 percent in May, revised upwards from the preliminary estimate of a 0.8 percent increase, compared to April's figure of 3.8 percent rise.
"There's no strong reason to buy Japanese shares, but it's rising to make up for the five-day fall last week. Industrial production may have had an impact, though it didn't veer far from estimates," Yoshihiro Okumura, a general manager at Chiba-Gin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo said.
But fund managers still alluded to this being a quiet period as the market cools down from a stint of overheating and as investors look to position themselves ahead of the upcoming earnings season.
"The traditional 'quiet period' before earnings results are announced is having a particularly tranquilizing effect on the current market, since there has been so much pension-fund interest holding the floor up," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, adding that activity was muted ahead of the start of Japan's latest corporate earnings period in the coming weeks.
"As such, the fact that the Nikkei is coming off a five-day losing streak -- its longest since the current 'Abenomics rally' began in November 2012 -- is really less relevant than meets the eye; the selling has not been that broad or deep, or technically significant," Akino said.
With the U.S. dollar fetching 101.40 yen in Asian currency markets, up from 101.23 yen logged in New York on Friday afternoon, Japanese exporters got a boost on the first trading day of the week, as their competitiveness is boosted and profit yields are augmented on a weaker yen when the funds are repatriated.
Among automaker issues, Honda accelerated 1.2 percent to 3,557 yen and Nissan Motor Co. gained 1.1 percent to 982 yen.
Endoscope maker Olympus Corp. leapt 2.3 percent to 3,710 yen and Minebea Co. jumped 2.2 percent to 1,209 yen, following the firm's plans to improve its cost competitiveness by taking a new approach to enhancing the production of its backlights for liquid- crystal display panels.
Communications-related issues attracted strong buying and was the market's best-performing sector, with KDDI advancing 1.4 percent to 6,290 yen and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone adding 2.6 percent to close at 6,723 yen.
Heavily weighted component SoftBank gained 2.3 percent to 7,649 yen, following an agreement being reached for its Sprint Corp. company to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom AG, according to local media reports.
Film, theatre and distribution company Toho jumped 4.1 percent to 2,482 yen, after announcing at the end of last week that its consolidated net profit in the March-May quarter rocketed more than 91 percent year-on-year to 8.53 billion yen, partly due to the nationwide popularity of the Disney film Frozen which it screened in its theaters.
Pharmaceutical stocks ended mixed, however, with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma climbing 5.4 percent to 1,208 yen, after Barclays raised its rating on the firm from "underweight" to "equal weight" and increased its target price for the stock from 990 yen to 1,200 yen.
But Cosmos Pharmaceutical lost 1.5 percent to 10,900 yen, following the drugstore operator projecting net profit in the business year through May 2015 that fell short of median market forecasts.
Trading volume on Monday dropped to 1.92 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, down from Friday's volume of 2.12 billion shares, with advancing issues outnumbering declining ones by 1,361 to 358.