Tokyo stocks opened down 1.07 percent on Friday after the yen strengthened amid investor jitters over the looming US "fiscal cliff".
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 94.47 points lower at 8,742.68.
Overseas markets fell Thursday on continued jitters over the fiscal cliff, a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes, boosting the yen again against the dollar and euro overnight, brokers noted.
"While Japanese stock valuations remain fundamentally cheap, the external negatives are too much for the market to overcome, and selling will likely take the major indexes down," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities.
US President Barack Obama's re-election has raised the spectre of a bitter fiscal stand-off in Washington over the fiscal cliff that could herald a recession approaching at the end of the year.
Worries over eurozone debt problems also kept the common currency under pressure.
The euro fetched $1.2741 and 101.28 yen in early Asian trade, compared with $1.2748 and 101.27 yen. The dollar was at 79.47 yen against 79.43 yen in US trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.94 percent to 12,811.32 Thursday in the second day of losses after President Barack Obama's re-election victory.