Japanese stocks closed at their highest in nearly two weeks Tuesday as investors picked up
recently pressured shares such as Sony, encouraged by a softening yen and after news from Merrill Lynch prompted a rally on Wall Street.
But trade was thin and gains were limited as many institutional investors were away for Christmas holidays.
The Nikkei 225 Average closed 1.9 percent higher. Exporters such as Hitachi and Nissan also gained. Bank counters such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Citibank's Tokyo shares also climbed.
The yen rebounded from a seven-week low against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday as investors trimmed positions in a holiday-thinned market.