Tokyo stocks were down 0.31 percent by the break on Monday as markets took a breather with investors locking in profits ahead of the nail-biter US presidential election.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 27.86 points at 9,023.36 while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues slipped 0.39 percent, or 2.90 points, to 749.19.
Markets won a measure of support from upbeat US jobs and factory order data last week, highlighting modest improvement for the world's biggest economy.
"The (US) numbers were certainly nothing to worry about," said CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith, adding that "players are taking profits after recent gains".
Markets were paying close attention the results of Tuesday's US election and a once-in-decade leadership shuffle in China with both having major political and economic implications.
On Monday, Toyota's shares rose 2.38 percent to 3,215 yen following a report by public broadcaster NHK saying the automaker will hike its annual operating profit by 5.0 percent to 1.05 trillion yen ($13 billion) when it releases its half-year results later in the day.
"I'd like to examine the details -- how Toyota is assessing various risks," Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager of research at Chibagin Asset Management, told Dow Jones Newswires.
News of Toyota's upward revision comes as automakers suffer from a strong yen and falling sales in China caused by strained Sino-Japanese ties over the ownership of an East China Sea island chain.
Toyota rival Nissan, which will announce its financial results on Tuesday, edged up 0.14 percent to 687 yen, while Honda, which was sold last week after slashing its annual profit outlook, rose 1.21 percent to 2,497 yen.
Sharp tumbled 4.84 percent to 157 yen after Fitch slashed its credit rating to junk last week as the struggling consumer electronics giant faces a worrying cash-flow crisis.
Panasonic fell 2.91 percent to 399 yen after saying last week it would lose more than $9.0 billion in the year to March owing to a massive restructuring.
In currency trading, the dollar changed hands at 80.53 yen in Tokyo, from 80.47 yen late Friday in New York, where the jobs data helped push it to 80.68 yen at one stage, its highest level since late April.
The euro bought $1.2819 and 103.24 yen, from $1.2835 and 103.30 yen.