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|(FILES) This file photo taken on June 24, 2020 shows the entertainment district of Kabukicho in Tokyo. Tokyo unveiled plans on July 9, 2020 to offer nightclubs subsidies to close as new coronavirus infections in the capital hit a single-day record, with many linked to entertainment districts. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP|
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 1.27 percent or 281.98 points at 22,572.79 in early trade, while the broader Topix index gained 1.28 percent or 19.67 points to 1,554.87.
"Japanese shares are seen rising by a large margin following rallies on Wall Street, as investors were encouraged by news about progress in development of coronavirus vaccines and treatment," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a note.
On Wall Street, investors cheered remarks from the head of German biotech firm BioNTech to the Wall Street Journal that a vaccine candidate would be ready for regulatory review by the end of the year.
Analysts also pointed to a positive announcement from Gilead Sciences about clinical trials on remdesivir, a drug treatment for coronavirus.
Looking ahead, investors are watching China's June trade account and second quarter GDP data due on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, and the Bank of Japan's policy decision on Wednesday, among others, analysts said.
Among major shares in Tokyo, SoftBank Group was up 2.95 percent at 6,252 yen, Toyota was up 2.22 percent at 6,714 yen and Sony was up 2.07 percent at 7,941 yen.
The dollar fetched 106.91 yen in early Asian trade, unchanged from the level in New York on Friday.
On Wall Street, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index finished at 10,617.44, up 0.7 percent, notching its sixth record close in seven sessions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4 percent to end at 26,075.30.