Tokyo stocks opened 0.41 percent lower on Tuesday after overnight drops on Wall Street following poor manufacturing data.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 39.03 points at 9,419.15 at the start.
The Nikkei was likely to see some profit-taking after the disappointing US manufacturing figures added to worries about the year-end onslaught of federal tax increases and spending cuts, analysts said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.46 percent to 12,965.60.
"The market is in line for a bout of profit-taking but should soon stabilise after the initial selling wave," Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
On currency markets, the yen remained stable against its main counterparts.
The euro changed hands at $1.3061 and 107.28 yen in early Asian trade, compared with $1.3051 and 107.36 yen in New York late Monday.
In New York, the shared European currency hit $1.3076, its highest level in almost six weeks.
The dollar was slightly lower at 82.14 yen from 82.24 yen in US trade.