Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index plunged more than three percent Tuesday afternoon as tech shares were hit by selling pressure following a plunge in the Nasdaq on Wall Street.
The Nikkei 225 index sank 3.01 percent, or 887.29 points, to 28,631.05, while the broader Topix dropped 2.35 percent, or 45.85 points, to 1,906.42.
"Stocks fell broadly but high-tech shares were hit hard," Shinichi Yamamoto, a broker at Okasan Securities, told AFP.
"We don't need to be too pessimistic but trading is expected to remain cautious for now," Yamamoto said.
Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest dropped 4.60 percent to 9,730 yen and Tokyo Electron, a major producer of tools to build semiconductors, lost 3.95 percent to 48,080 yen.
Investors were awaiting further data including retail sales and inflation figures that may shape the market's expectations for US monetary policy, brokers said.
The tech-rich Nasdaq dropped 2.6 percent Monday.
Industrial names such as Caterpillar and 3M still mustered solid gains, but large tech names like Amazon and Facebook sank.
The dollar stood at 108.90 yen in Asian afternoon trade, compared with the 108.77 yen in New York.