Tokyo stocks ended higher Thursday on the yen's further depreciation that boosted the buying of exporters' shares, with Nikkei index rising for the 7th straight day.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average sharply surged 164.45 points, or 1.03 percent, from Wednesday to end at 16,174.44, its highest finish level since Nov. 6, 2007.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 21.16 points, or 1.68 percent, at 1, 279.34, its best close since Aug. 11, 2008.
Brokers said that a weakening yen boosted investors' optimism over the earning outlook for export issues after the U.S. dollar hit the upper 104 yen level, a range unseen for more than five years.
The dollar traded at the mid-104 yen level in early Tokyo deals and changed hand at the upper 104 yen in the afternoon, while the euro hovered in the lower 143 yen range.
The market was also supported by the absence of selling linked to the expiration of special tax breaks on equity investment at the end of this year, as the final trading day for settlement under the preferential taxation system passed the previous day.
Analysts here said that Nikkei's Thursday advance was backed by broad-based gains and was more positive than the previous days' gains, adding it was driven by rises in certain heavily weighted Nikkei component stocks, such as Fast Retailing.
All 33 sectors advanced and gainers were led by the brokerage, construction and paper and pulp sectors.
Advancing issues surpassed declining ones 1,620 to 120 on the First Section, while 29 closed unchanged.
Nomura Holdings jumped 36 yen, or 4.7 percent, to 806 yen and Daiwa Securities Group surged 55 yen, or 5.5 percent, to 1,056 yen on the back of hopes that the NISA program will prompt more individual players to participate in stock investment.
Exporters performed well as Toyota Motor gained 180 yen, or 2.9 percent, to 6,340 yen and Mazda Motor rose 19 yen, or 3.7 percent, to 532 yen.
TDK advanced 95 yen, or 1.9 percent, to 5,050 yen and Fujitsu added 1 yen, or 0.2 percent, to 534 yen, both setting year-to-date highs.
The Nikkei's rise temporarily slowed somewhat following news of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, which stoked concern about the deterioration of relations with China, a major trading partner of Japan.
But brokers said its impact was limited, with the Nikkei crawling higher toward the end of the day's trading.
Trading volume on the main section came to 2,657.12 million shares, up from Wednesday's 2,570.68 million shares.
The turnover was about 2,183.3 billion yen (about 20.85 billion U.S. dollars)