Tokyo stocks opened 1.01 percent higher on Wednesday, boosted by the weaker yen and a rally on Wall Street where optimism was growing that a deal to avert the fiscal cliff was in sight.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 100.39 points to 10,023.40 at the start of trade.
The strong opening came after US stocks rallied Tuesday amid optimism that Washington was serious about reaching a deal on the fiscal cliff -- a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in January, and which could plunge the US economy into recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.87 percent to finish the session at 13,350.96.
President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have stepped up negotiations in recent days in an apparent effort to avert the fiscal cliff.
The Tokyo market was also lifted by a weaker yen as incoming prime minister Shinzo Abe, head of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) which won Sunday's general election, stepped up pressure on the Bank of Japan to take bold monetary easing steps.
In early forex trade, the dollar was quoted at 84.32 yen, from 84.28 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.
The euro also firmed to 111.52 yen from 111.47 yen while it was flat at $1.3225.
"The weaker yen and hopes for a US economic rebound, as well as optimism for the new LDP-led administration and forthcoming stimulus budget should all help the market today," said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.
Markets appeared to react little to fresh trade data released Wednesday morning that showed Japan's November trade deficit expanded 37.9 percent on-year to $11.3 billion, a record for the month, in a worrying sign for the world's third-largest economy.
-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article --