Tokyo shares edged lower on Monday in choppy trade, with volume falling to the lowest in more than three months, while real estate and banks underperformed.
The Nikkei ended 0.3 percent lower at 21,388.58 after flirting in positive territory.
Trading was thin as many major financial centres were closed for the Good Friday Easter holiday. Markets in Australia, Hong Kong, Britain and Germany remained shut on Monday while the U.S. market will resume trading.
The broader Topix dropped 0.4 percent to 1,708.78, with only 957 million shares changing hands, the lowest level since late December. Turnover was only 1.674 trillion yen, also the lowest since then.
Real estate shares lost ground with Mitsui Fudosan falling 2.0 percent and Mitsubishi Estate shedding 1.6 percent.
Banking stocks were sold as well. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 0.8 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group declined 1.0 percent.
The utility sector rose, led by Kansai Electric Power Co’s surge of 5.5 percent after the Osaka District Court rejected an injunction on Friday seeking to halt two reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant.