Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi rose 1.26 percent to end at 2,497.52, with automakers gaining after closing lower in the last session. Tech blue chips also drove gains on the index. Hyundai Motor edged up 1.71 percent and SK Hynix rose 2.85 percent on Friday.
Samsung Electronics advanced 2.04 percent ahead of the company's fourth-quarter guidance, which is expected next Tuesday.
The moves followed news that North Korea will reportedly meet with South Korea for talks on January 9. The discussion is expected to focus on the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics, an event North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the North was open to joining.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.74 percent at 6,122.3 as the telecommunications, financials and materials sectors rose. Major mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP closed up 0.51 percent and 0.82 percent, respectively. Among gold producers, Evolution Mining advanced 1.55 percent by the end of the day.
The New Year rally seen in China markets largely continued on the last trading day of week. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.2 percent to close at 3,392.36 and the Shenzhen Composite closed 0.04 percent higher at 1,941.8.
The gains were seen after positive China data releases during the week that showed manufacturing and services sector activity in December came in better than expected.
The Hang Seng Index, last year's top-performing Asian major, slipped below the flat line after trading higher for most of the session. At 3:30 p.m. HK/SIN, the index was off by 0.04 percent. Still, the benchmark traded at 30,725.3, within sight of its all-time high of 31,958.41 set in 2007.
Property developers were mostly higher at 3:37 p.m. HK/SIN, with Sunac climbing 4.92 percent and China Evergrande rising 1.96 percent. Technology names, however, were in negative territory, with heavyweight Tencent shedding 0.32 percent ahead of the market close.
Major U.S. indexes climbed higher for the third straight session on Thursday, with the Dow advancing 0.61 percent and closing above the 25,000 barrier for the first time. The move higher also marked the quickest 1,000-point gain in the index's history.
Gains in stocks came amid a wave of positive releases on Thursday. In particular, private sector hiring rose more than expected in December: The monthly report showed 250,000 jobs were added last month, compared to the 190,000 forecast in a Reuters poll.
"Positive economic data releases overnight have helped reinforce the view that the ongoing broad based global economic recovery still has a lot of legs," Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a note.