Tokyo stocks fell 0.97 percent on profit-taking Friday following a four-day winning streak, while Wall Street provided a mixed and largely uninspiring lead.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange eased 87.16 points to 8,891.44, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares decreased 0.67 percent, or 5.05 points, to 746.79.
"With the index approaching its near-term peak, investors are likely to take profits and square their positions before the weekend," said Rakuten Securities senior market analyst Masayuki Doshida.
Wall Street ended broadly flat Thursday after a seesaw day of trade despite modestly promising US jobs and trade data, brokers said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 10.45 points, or 0.08 percent, at 13,165.19, but the broader S&P 500 index added 0.58, or 0.04 percent, to 1,402.80, although the tech-rich Nasdaq put on 7.39 points, or 0.25 percent, to 3,018.64.
US initial claims for unemployment insurance, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, fell 6,000 to 361,000 in the week to August 4.
Meanwhile, the trade deficit for June fell for the third straight month as exports continued to climb while imports decreased.
Weaker-than-expected China trade data for July, signalling a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy, also weighed on the market and some China-linked shares in afternoon trade, analysts said.
The dollar edged up to 78.57 yen in afternoon Asian trade from 78.55 yen in New York late Thursday following a rise on the US data.
While a softer yen normally lifts Japanese exporters, it did little to boost the Nikkei on Friday, brokers said.
Olympus was down 1.53 percent at 1,412 yen after the camera and medical equipment maker announced Thursday a wider net loss for the three months to June, compared with the same period in the previous year.
-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --