Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday as investors turned to profit-taking following four days of gains, despite a positive lead from Wall Street and another rise in oil prices.
US equities rose on Friday, following a better-than-expected jobs report and a gain in oil prices that lifted most petroleum shares.
The US Labor Department reported that the world's top economy added a robust 242,000 jobs in February, although the data also showed a drop in wages.
"US wages not being as good as we thought may be a weight on the market, but the jobs data overall isn't looking bad," Yoshinori Ogawa, market strategist at Okasan Securities, told Bloomberg News.
"There were some concerns over slowing growth in the US but we should be giving it a fairly positive assessment." In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.35 per cent, or 59.75 points, to 16,955.03 just after the opening bell.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.53 per cent, or 7.31 points, to 1,368.04.
Markets appeared to react negatively to news that China over the weekend cut its growth target for this year to a range of 6.5-7.0 per cent, amid worries about the health of the world's number two economy - a key driver of global and regional growth.
On forex markets, the dollar fell to 113.69 yen from 113.79 yen in New York late Friday.
The strength of the yen is a key barometer for the profitability of Japanese exporters, and impacts demand for their shares.
On Wall Street, the Dow closed 0.4 per cent higher on Friday, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 0.2 per cent.