Tokyo shares gained 1.22 percent Friday led by financials as a new European Union-IMF bailout deal for debt-ridden Greece jolted markets out of their recent pessimism, brokers said.
The benchmark Nikkei average climbed 121.72 points to 10,132.11, the highest closing level since July 8. The Topix index of all first-section issues rose 1.01 percent or 8.70 points to 868.81.
A relief rally was triggered after European leaders announced they had agreed, together with the banks holding much of Greece's debt, on a new financing and restructuring package in a bid to bail Athens out.
The pact eased worries of Greek contagion across the region that would set off a domino effect throughout global markets, said dealers.
"It's positive since a collapse of talks would have led to turmoil in global financial markets," Monex market analyst Toshiyki Kanayama said.
But the yen's recent firmness against the dollar weighed. A stronger yen dents Japanese exporters' overseas earnings when repatriated. The dollar traded at 78.58 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade against 78.72 yen on Thursday.
"The dollar-yen level is continuing to weigh on the market while investors are also cautious ahead of next week's Japan corporate earnings," said Cosmo Securities analyst Toshikazu Horiuchi.
Focus is shifting towards ongoing US debt negotiations, said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. Washington needs to raise the nation's debt ceiling by August 2 in order to avert default.
"The US deficit reduction talks are largely a political event and not many market players actually think the US government will default, but it still weighs on equity market sentiment," Miura said.
Megabank shares soared with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial climbing 3.60 percent to 2,530 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ up 3.29 percent at 407 yen.
Utility companies were largely negative after opening higher Friday, led by profit-taking in Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).
TEPCO shares, which soared 15.9 percent on Thursday on reports of political progress over the utility's compensation for victims of the nuclear crisis caused by the March 11 quake, fell 7.96 percent to 543 yen.
Kansai Electric Power Co. halted a reactor for regular checkups early Friday in Fukui Prefecture, and is poised to similarly suspend another later in the day to leave only 16 of the nation's 54 reactors running, adding to its power supply problems.
Shares in Kansai Electric Power fell 0.13 percent to 1,436 yen.