Tokyo stocks opened 1.16 percent lower on Thursday after sell-offs on Wall Street following President Barack Obama's election victory.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 104.47 points at 8,868.42 at the start.
US stocks plunged 2.4 percent Wednesday after Obama's re-election set up a tough battle with Republicans over the looming "fiscal cliff".
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dived 312.95 points or 2.36 percent to finish at 12,932.73, closing below 13,000 for the first time in three months.
Analysts said traders were worried that the still-divided Congress could again deadlock on fiscal reforms, allowing a harsh "fiscal cliff" package of spending cuts and tax hikes to take effect on January 1.
"The return of investor focus to the proverbial US 'fiscal cliff' has jolted the markets, with the renewed yen rise likely to hurt Japan shares the most," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities.
The yen changed hands at 79.96 yen in early Asian trade, unchanged from New York late Wednesday.
The euro fetched $1.2760 and 101.99 yen, compared with $1.2767 and 102.09 yen in US trade.