Metal stocks led the gains with Pacific Metals higher by 8 percent and Sumitomo Metal Mining up 6.5 percent after copper prices hit a three-week high.
Automakers also lent support with Suzuki Motor, Isuzu Motors, and Hino Motorshigher by over 5 percent each. Still, the pace of gains was capped as the yen traded near a three-week high of 97.76 per dollar.
Investors are awaiting a speech by Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda later in the day for clues on the direction of monetary policy.
"The market is viewing the fact that the Japanese is going to be the first one to try and offset any kind of U.S expansion of QE with one of their own and that's why dollar-yen isn't buckling as much as the other currencies," said Boris Schlossberg, managing director at BK Asset Management.
Sydney up 1.1%
Australia's resource-heavy S&P ASX 200 index hit its highest levels since June 2008 thanks to strong gains in gold miners following higher bullion prices.
Spot gold approached a one-week high, triggering a 22 percent increase in Perseus Mining, an 18 percent rise in Medusa Mining and a 16 percent gain in Kingsgate Consolidated.
Struggling surf-wear retailer Billabong climbed 5.5 percent after signing a refinancing deal with U.S. hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Returns.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter