Japanese shares fell on Monday in thin trade as the yen firmed and as global geopolitical tensions rose after North Korea fired four missiles, three of which landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone.
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The Nikkei share average fell 0.5 percent to 19,379.14 points.
Defense-related stocks outperformed on speculation that North Korea's latest launch will spur more Japanese spending on arms.
Landmine maker Ishikawa Seisakusho jumped 5.1 percent, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rose 0.2 percent and Kawasaki Heavy Industries 0.3 percent.
The broader Topix shed 0.2 percent to 1,554.90, with only 1.409 billion shares changing hands, the lowest volume since Dec. 28. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.3 percent to 13,918.68.
The Nikkei Jasdaq index rose for a 17th day, hitting its record closing high of 3,039.86.
(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Richard Borsuk)