People walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan June 20, 2017 Photograph:( Reuters )
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slid 0.03 per cent or 7.15 points to 23,823.43 in early trade.
Tokyo stocks opened marginally lower on Wednesday in the absence of foreign investors for the Christmas holidays, after US shares finished a sleepy holiday-shortened session mostly lower.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slid 0.03 per cent or 7.15 points to 23,823.43 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.03 per cent or 0.45 points at 1,727.77.
"After the US market ended mixed, the Japanese market is seen moving range-bound," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a note.
Tokyo trade is "dominated by a wait-and-see attitude as US trade is closed for the Christmas holiday this evening," he said.
On Wall Street on Tuesday, the broad S&P 500 slipped a hair, and the benchmark Dow dipped 0.1 per cent, but the Nasdaq, with a 0.1 per cent gain, posted another all-time high.
The dollar fetched 109.38 yen in early Asian trade, unchanged from the level in New York late Tuesday.
In Tokyo, automakers were among losers, with Toyota slipping 0.50 per cent to 7,702 yen, Honda trading off 0.35 per cent at 3,117 yen, Mitsubishi Motors down 0.43 per cent at 461 and Mazda down 1.06 per cent at 933.
Nissan dipped 1.57 per cent to 643.3 yen after the leading business daily Nikkei said its vice chief operating officer who is a key figure in restructuring the scandal-hit automaker will leave the company to join components maker Nidec as soon as February.
A source at Nissan who declined to be named confirmed the report was true, while a Nidec spokesman declined to comment.
Nidec was trading 0.26 per cent lower at 15,065 yen.
Elsewhere, Sony slid 0.28 per cent to 7,385 yen and Panasonic was down 0.53 per cent at 1,016.5 yen.