Markets rose last week after unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs data despite some American states reporting record new coronavirus infections.
The key Nikkei 225 index fell 0.58 per cent, or 132.61 points, to end at 22,751.61 while the broader Topix index lost 0.62 per cent, or 9.78 points, to 1,572.96.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of major blue-chip companies rose 0.3 per cent to 6,225.61 points compared with the closing level on Wednesday.
Asian markets were mixed Thursday as investors juggled hopes for a new stimulus deal in Washington with concerns about the virus and another flare-up between China and the United States.
While several countries are suffering a fresh surge in infections — particularly the United States — the ongoing easing of lockdown measures and reopening of economies has been the key driver of a months-long surge across equities.
The key Nikkei 225 index fell 0.44 percent, or 99.75 points, to 22,614.69 while the broader Topix index was down 0.34 percent, or 5.44 points, at 1,571.71.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.76 per cent, or 175.14 points, at 22,770.36, while the broader Topix index fell 0.66 per cent, or 10.45 points, to 1,579.06.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.4%, paring some of its 2% losses the previous day, while Nikkei slid 0.3% on concerns about rising virus infections in Tokyo.
The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.36% to 11,348.34 by 0510 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.29% to 38,483.80.