Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday, helped by expectations that the Japanese government may lift a state of emergency in parts of the country later this week.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.67 percent, or 134.88 points, at 20,313.97 in early trade, while the broader Topix index gained 0.78 percent, or 11.42 points, to 1,469.70.
"Investor sentiment is improving because of expectations for an early lifting of the state of emergency," Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.
The government is considering the easing in most Japanese prefectures this month, Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the response to the pandemic, said on Sunday.
In a parliament session on Monday, he said the government will put out guidelines for resuming economic activities.
The government is however expected to continue urging caution in Tokyo and some other areas.
The dollar fetched 106.95 yen in early Asian trade, against 106.73 yen in New York late Friday.
In Tokyo, trading houses were among the winners, with Mitsubishi Corp. rising 2.24 percent to 2,394 yen and Itochu rallying 4.26 percent to 2,251.5 yen.
Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land was up 0.84 percent at 13,845 yen on expectations for the reopening of its parks, though the operator of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea said Friday it was further extending the closure of the resorts.
Oriental Land has said the company will decide when to open the parks after the national government and local municipalities lift their state-of-emergency declarations.
On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 1.9 percent at 24,331.32.
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