Data released Friday showed December consumer prices in Japan were stable. The core consumer price index increased 0.9 percent in December compared to one year ago, a figure that was in line with expectations, Reuters said. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 0.3 percent last month.
Retailers were mixed, with Fast Retailing advancing 0.39 percent by the end of the day.
Over in Seoul, the Kospi reversed slight losses to end higher by 0.49 percent at 2,574.76.
Tech stocks traded mixed: Samsung Electronics rose 1.03 percent while SK Hynix slipped 0.4 percent by the end of the day, giving up some of the gains made after it announced record-high quarterly profit on Thursday.
Automakers were broadly lower after Hyundai Motor reported a fall in annual operating income on Thursday. Hyundai Motor declined 3.79 percent and affiliate Kia Motors lost 1.18 percent by the end of the session.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 1.51 percent by 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN after snapping a seven-day winning streak on Thursday. Gains in large cap financials drove the broader index higher on the day, with China Construction Bank gaining 5.37 percent ahead of the market close. Tech heavyweight Tencent rose 2.36 percent.
Property developers also notched gains during the session: Country Garden jumped 2.55 percent and Henderson Land rose 3.68 percent by 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN.
The Shanghai composite edged up 0.3 percent to close at 3,559.09 and the Shenzhen composite finished the session 0.16 percent lower. The blue chip CSI 300 index was up 0.39 percent by the end of the day.
Meanwhile, data released earlier showed profits made by industrial companies in the country grew 10.8 percent last month compared to one year ago, Reuters said.
Markets in Australia and India were closed for Australia Day and Republic Day, respectively.