Tokyo stocks opened 0.51 percent down on Wednesday after Wall Street closed lower amid renewed worries over a US "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 47.82 points at 9,375.48 at the start.
A break in the recent yen weakening trend, combined with a sell-off in US shares Tuesday, is likely to help spur profit-taking, analysts said.
"The difficulties with solving the US 'fiscal cliff' are coming to a head again and may present a good selling opportunity for investors," said Kenichi Hirano, market analyst at Tachibana Securities.
"Overall, however, foreign investors are not fleeing, while retail investors remain quite active. The net result could be mostly a net wash for the market with a slight downward bias," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
US stocks fell Tuesday as fiscal cliff worries overshadowed encouraging US economic data and investors shrugged off Greece's revised bailout deal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.69 percent at 12,878.13.
The euro bought $1.2937 and 106.24 yen in early Asian trade Wednesday, hardly changed from $1.2938 and 106.30 yen in New York late Tuesday.
The dollar was at 82.10 yen against 82.16 yen in US trade.