Tokyo shares close 0.40% higher

Tokyo stocks closed 0.40 percent higher on Monday after the government's nominee to lead the Bank of Japan (BoJ) vowed to do "everything possible" to conquer the country's long-running deflation.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended 45.91 points higher at 11,652.29, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.80 percent, or 7.92 points, to 992.25.

"The market continues to benefit from growing expectations that the new-look central Bank of Japan is aggressively committed to monetary easing," said CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith.

Haruhiko Kuroda, nominated last week to head the central bank, on Monday criticised previous BoJ management for failing to reverse years of falling prices, telling parliament: "I want to make it clear that we will do everything possible to get rid of deflation."

The 68-year-old Kuroda, an experienced finance veteran who has announced his resignation as head of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, is widely expected to be confirmed by parliament as Japan's top central banker in the coming weeks.

The yen initially weakened on his comments in Asian forex trade, which stoked easing speculation, but the unit quickly reversed course.

"We've been expecting a lot from Kuroda... and what he said was well within expectations but offered no big surprises," a senior dealer at a major bank in Tokyo told Dow Jones Newswires.

In currency trading, the dollar weakened to 93.35 yen from 93.59 yen in New York Friday, while the euro fetched 121.37 yen from 121.92 yen.

Tokyo's modest gains came as other Asian markets mostly fell after $85 billion in budget cuts came into effect in the United States Friday, with US lawmakers unable to compromise on a less painful deal.

Traders were also looking to a a eurozone finance ministers' meeting later in the day.

In Tokyo trade, real estate shares gained with Mitsubishi Estate climbing 3.55 percent to 2,537 yen while Mitsui Fudosan rose 2.38 percent to 2,492 yen.

Electronics giant Sony was up 3.45 percent to 1,438 yen, but Canon slipped 0.74 percent to 3,350 yen while Toyota eased 0.10 percent to 4,745 yen.

Brokerage giant Nomura Holdings rose 0.72 percent to 554 yen.