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.
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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)