The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was off 50.06 points at 17,333.52 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.44 percent, or 6.20 points, to 1,400.20.
“The US holiday break is going to suppress participation levels through Friday, and with the dollar looking top-heavy, more air could come out of the stock market,” Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. strategist Daisuke Uno told Dow Jones Newswires.
In forex markets, the greenback slipped to 117.53 yen, from 117.72 yen in New York, on the back of mixed US economic figures.
Data for October showed a slight increase in US consumer spending, a rise in durable goods orders and a modest increase in new-home sales. But the Labor Department reported higher jobless claims for the week ending November 22.
Investors were also eyeing oil prices, which retreated further as an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting was tipped to resist pressure to rein in production and curb falling prices.
In Tokyo share trading, Takata fell 3.38 percent to 1,311.0 yen after US regulators on Wednesday pressured the Japanese auto parts maker to expand its recall of potentially defective airbags across the United States, or risk up to $35 million in financial penalties.
Yakult fell 5.52 percent to 6,330.0 yen on reports that France’s Danone was mulling the sale of its 20 percent stake in the Japanese drinks giant. The shares had dropped as much as 10 percent earlier Thursday.
On Wall Street the Dow and S&P 500 Wednesday edged higher to new records following the stream of mixed US data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.07 percent to 17,827.75, while the broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.28 percent to 2,072.83.