Data released Wednesday showed the country's exports increased 9.3 percent last month when compared to one year ago, Reuters said. While that was below the 10.1 percent forecast in a Reuters poll, the value of Japan's December exports to Asia still rose to a new record.
Over in Seoul, the benchmark Kospi index closed higher by 0.06 percent at 2,538. The technology sector was a mixed picture, with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix higher by 0.37 percent and 1.57 percent, respectively. LG Electronics closed down 6.39 percent.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.29 percent to close at 6,054.70. Most sectors gained, with the exception of the materials and telecommunications sub-indexes. The country's "Big Four" banks were mostly higher, with Westpac rising 0.39 percent on the day.
Major mining names were broadly lower: Rio Tinto declined 0.39 percent and BHP edged down 0.36 percent. That followed the move lower in base metal prices overnight on the back of soft China demand data.
The Hang Seng Index reversed early losses to climb 0.19 percent by 3:03 p.m. HK/SIN. Energy-related stocks carved out significant gains, with Petrochina rising 6.61 percent by 3:09 p.m. HK/SIN. Financials were mixed, with insurer AIA slipping 0.3 percent and HSBC edging up 0.06 percent ahead of the market close.
Hong Kong's benchmark index, which closed higher for the sixth consecutive session on Tuesday, is trading more than 9 percent higher year-to-date.
On the mainland, the Shanghai composite rose 0.4 percent to end at 3,560.73, extending gains after trading at its highest levels in two years in the last session. The Shenzhen composite advanced 0.51 percent to finish the session at 1,960.93.
MSCI's index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Japan was lower by 0.37 percent at 3:05 p.m. HK/SIN.