Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.2 percent on Tuesday, clearing the 17,000 level for the first time in nearly eight weeks as gains on Wall Street and a softer yen pushed up exporters such as Sony Corp.

Financial shares such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc also gained on easing worries about global credit markets.

Sony rose 2.7 percent to 5,800 yen and Canon Inc was up 1.8 percent to 6,350 yen.

Financial shares were also firm. Mitsubishi UFJ gained 3.8 percent to 1,095 yen, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc was up 2.2 percent to 900,000 yen. Mizuho Financial Group Inc climbed 2 percent to 657,000 yen.

As of 0042 GMT, the benchmark Nikkei was up 197.19 points at 17,043.15 The broader TOPIX index was up 1.4 percent at 1,638.84.