Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index gained nearly 1.5 percent on Tuesday, extending rallies on Wall Street on optimism about the easing of lockdowns and promising preliminary results from a coronavirus vaccine trial.
The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.49 percent, or 299.72 points, to close at 20,433.45, while the broader Topix index was up 1.83 percent, or 26.76 points, at 1,486.05.
Tokyo shares had opened higher after Wall Street stocks rocketed following positive news on the first clinical tests of a coronavirus vaccine, lifting shares of airlines, hotels and other beaten-down sectors.
"Optimism spread through the market as players were focusing on positive news on the coronavirus," said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management.
"But this does not mean prices will continue to go up," Okumura told AFP, adding that the market outlook remains uncertain.
Investors are also watching corporate earnings reports, brokers said.
The dollar fetched 107.37 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 107.29 yen in New York on Monday.
In Tokyo, Sony jumped 3.24 percent to 6,902 yen and Toyota rose 2.78 percent to 6,431 yen.
Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was up 0.64 percent at 51,760 yen, but Nintendo lost 1.27 percent to 43,980 yen.
SoftBank Group dropped 2.74 percent to 4,494 yen after the firm reported record losses, as the pandemic compounded woes caused by its investment in troubled office-sharing start-up WeWork.