Tokyo shares have closed 0.63 per cent lower as a strong yen and concerns about a slowdown in the Chinese economy hit sentiment.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday lost 56.02 points to 8,783.89, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues declined 0.41 per cent, or 3.01 points, to 728.63.
The Chinese government's purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell in August from the previous month, according to figures released on Saturday, in the latest sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy.
China is Japan's biggest trading partner so exporter shares tend to fall after the release of data that may mean weaker demand for Japanese products.
"With bad signs in China's official manufacturing PMI data, investors are likely to avoid bidding up stocks that are linked to China," Okasan Securities strategist Hideyuki Ishiguro told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Trading is likely to remain thin, with a limited number of market participants, ahead of the Labor Day holiday in the US" on Monday, Ishiguro added.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.69 per cent to 13,090.84, as the market welcomed Fed chief Ben Bernanke's hints that the US central bank would launch further stimulus to power the US economy.
In his speech, Bernanke warned that US labour market stagnation was "a grave concern" and signalled he would push for easing measures.
In Tokyo trade, exporters took a hit with a strong yen weighing.
Sony was down 0.56 per cent to Y876, carmaker Honda was off 0.76 per cent at Y2,453 while Toshiba fell 0.40 per cent to Y249.
Sharp Corp was down 6.06 per cent at Y186 after Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating to junk status on Friday, following huge losses at the struggling Japanese consumer electronics giant.
Sharp has reportedly offered to revise the per-share purchase price of a deal that would see Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision invest in the Japanese firm, after Sharp's shares fell to a four-decade low last month.
On currency markets, the dollar bought Y78.28 in Tokyo afternoon trade from Y78.31 in New York late on Friday.
The euro fetched $US1.2576 and Y98.45, against $US1.2576 and Y98.51 in US trade.