The Nikkei average gained 0.1 percent on Thursday despite some weak economic data out before the open.

The benchmark Nikkei was up 20.14 points at 17,198.03 by 12am EST. The broader TOPIX index was flat at 1,658.20.

Nintendo Co Ltd continued to climb after it said it would start selling its Wii Fit home fitness game in Japan in time for the critical year-end shopping season.

Weak August machinery orders figures out before the open appeared to have little impact on share prices.

Japan's core private-sector machinery orders, a key gauge of corporate capital spending, fell 7.7 percent in August from the previous months, the government data showed. That compared with economists' consensus forecast for a 6.0 percent decline.