Tokyo stocks opened 1.16 percent lower on Thursday after the dollar fell against the yen and drops on US and European markets.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 187.05 points to 15,895.20 at the start.
"Japanese stocks will not be immune to the global selloff, especially as most of the buying seen over the last several weeks has been solely due to the weaker yen, and not anything fundamental," said Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical strategist at Daiwa Securities
Wall Street stocks finished sharply lower Wednesday following mixed US economic data amid worsening anxiety over global economic growth and the first confirmed Ebola case in the United States.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.40 percent to 16,804.71 while the broad-based S&P 500 tumbled 1.32 percent to 1,946.16.
The selloff on Wall Street came after drops in European stocks following disappointing data released on the eve of a key eurozone interest rate call as well as investor jitters over pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
The dollar backed off after breaking the 110 yen barrier for the first time in more than six years on Wednesday.
The greenback was changing hands at 108.94 yen in early Thursday trade, marginally up from 108.91 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon but sharply down from 109.86 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.
A strong yen makes Japanese exports more expensive abroad and erodes profits when repatriated.
The euro bought $1.2626 and 137.55 yen against $1.2624 and 137.48 yen in US trade.
-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article --