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Tokyo stocks opened 0.51 percent lower on Wednesday after a mixed performance from shares in the United States, where the Dow rose to yet another all-time high but other indexes fell.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 62.52 points at 12,252.29 at the start.
The recent strong buying momentum is likely to ease following a lacklustre performance on Wall Street on Tuesday, said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Okasan Securities.
But expectations for early easing action by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) will provide some measure of support for stocks, he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Japan's parliament is expected soon to confirm the government's nominees for the post of BoJ governor and two deputies, who are advocates of active monetary easing.
In New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 2.77 points to 14,450.06 on Tuesday, squeezing out a sixth straight day of record-high closings.
But the broad-market S&P 500 fell 3.74 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,552.48, snapping a seven-session winning streak. And the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite dropped 10.55 points (0.32 percent) to 3,242.32.
The dollar slipped to 95.81 yen in early Asian trade Wednesday from 96.05 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.
The euro bought 124.79 yen and $1.3026, compared with 125.19 yen and $1.3035 in US trade.