Tokyo share prices opened up 0.47 percent on Wednesday as investors waited for the outcome of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting with hopes for further monetary easing.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 42.75 points higher at 9,166.52.
The market was awaiting the results of the BoJ policy board meeting to be wrapped up later Wednesday. Expectations for credit easing were high after the US Federal Reserve announced a new bond-buying programme last week.
"With the US Fed embarking on an 'unlimited easing policy' and the legitimacy of the ECB (European Central Bank) bailout plan confirmed, the bar has been raised, so to speak, on the BoJ to act in some kind of complementary fashion," said Kenichi Hirano, market analyst at Tachibana Securities.
"A lot is riding on the central bank's decision, so there is likely to be little overall market movement until the policy is clear," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Shares in Japan Airlines (JAL) shot up more than three percent in early trade on Wednesday as the once-bankrupt company was relisted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The carrier was at 3,905 yen, up 3.03 percent on the offer price, three years after it became one of Japan's biggest ever corporate failures.
Currency rates were largely unchanged.
The euro bought $1.3047 and 102.72 yen in early Asian trade, compared with $1.3044 and 102.79 yen in New York late Tuesday.
The dollar was at 78.73 yen against 78.80 yen.
US stocks closed mixed Tuesday with fears over company profits heightened by FedEx's downbeat earnings outlook.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out an 11.54 point gain (0.09 percent) to finish at 13,564.64.