Japan's Nikkei share average rose near six-week highs touched earlier in the week on Wednesday, as shares of insurers soared after comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen boosted U.S. and global bond yields.
The Nikkei gained 1 percent to 19,437.98, near Monday's intraday high of 19,519.44. The broader Topix rose 1.0 percent to 1,553.69.
The insurers subindex gained 4.2 percent, its biggest gain in three months, with T&D Holdings rising 5.3 percent on the announcement of a share buyback.
Toshiba Corp, the most heavily traded stock on the main board, tanked 8.8 percent after it booked a massive writedown and said it may sell its prized flash-memory chip unit.
(Reporting by Tokyo Markets Team; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)