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[TOKYO] Tokyo shares opened 1.16 per cent higher on Thursday thanks a weaker yen as well as higher US stocks driven by strong economic data, while investors watched for developments in the Greek crisis.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed 236.62 points to 20,565.94 at the start.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.79 per cent Wednesday, following European equities higher on hopes for a deal with Greece as US data showed private-sector hiring accelerated in June.
US businesses added 237,000 jobs last month, up from 203,000 in May and the highest such figure since December, according to payroll firm ADP.
The report boosted expectations for official monthly payrolls data to be released on Thursday.
A strong reading would lift expectations that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates soon.
The dollar was at 123.33 yen early Thursday, up 123.15 yen in New York late Wednesday and 122.48 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.
A weaker yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and increases profits when repatriated.
The euro fetched US$1.1041 and 136.18 yen on Thursday against US$1.1053 and 136.12 yen in US trade.
Greece, meanwhile, entered uncharted waters with its default on a 1.5-billion-euro (S$2.24-billion) International Monetary Fund loan and the expiry of its current European bailout on Tuesday.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed on Wednesday to press ahead with a controversial bailout referendum despite pressure from European leaders as they declined to consider any fresh debt offer before Sunday's vote.