Tokyo stocks closed higher on Thursday, supported by a cheaper yen and sound corporate earnings despite lingering worries over rising coronavirus cases.
The Nikkei 225 index ended up 0.52 percent, or 144.04 points, at 27,728.12, while the broader Topix index was up 0.39 percent, or 7.55 points, at 1,928.98 at the close.
The dollar fetched 109.65 yen in Asian trade, up from 109.48 yen in New York and 108.98 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.
"Individual shares with strong earnings reports are rallying," senior strategist Mitsuhiro Shibata of Daiwa Securities said.
But "worries over the rise in coronavirus cases are capping the upward movement", he added.
Sony climbed 2.57 percent to 11,360 yen after it reported a better-than-expected first-quarter operating profit.
Telecom operator SoftBank Corp closed up 1.69 percent at 1,474.5 yen after it reported an operating profit mostly in line with market expectations.
And e-commerce giant Rakuten soared 8.38 percent to 1,358 yen after it announced a business partnership with Germany-based 1&1 on a mobile network.
The Japanese business daily Nikkei reported that the deal involves sales of Rakuten's low-cost 5G technology to the German company with a price tag of 250 billion yen ($2.3 billion).
Honda was up 1.83 percent at 3,612 yen after the automaker upgraded its full-year forecast as it returned to the black in the first quarter.
Shipping firms soared, reflecting rises in freight, with Nippon Yusen sky-rocketing 12.70 percent to 7,810 yen, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines ending up 6.66 percent at 6,890 yen and Kawasaki Kisen up 6.58 percent at 4,290 yen.
Game giant Nintendo ended up 1.75 percent at 56,490 yen ahead of its first-quarter earnings report.
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NIPPON YUSEN KAISHA
DAIWA SECURITIES GROUP
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