By Agence France-Presse
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.44 percent or 100.37 points to 22,817.60 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.38 percent or 6.80 points at 1,807.15.
"Buying is likely to lead on the back of rises in US stocks," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.
The uptrend in the dollar will also provide support, it added.
But SBI Securities noted some investors might retreat to the sidelines ahead of US-China trade talks in Washington on Thursday and Friday.
"A wait-and-see mood may spread as they want to see how the negotiations will go," it said in a commentary.
On Wednesday, upbeat data about US industry and positive corporate results sent US stocks higher on a fresh bout of optimism.
The dollar stayed firm in anticipation of higher interest rates, trading at 110.36 yen against 110.34 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon.
Banks were higher with Mitsubishi UFJ climbing 2.55 percent to 738.1 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui up 2.62 percent at 4,766 yen.
Carmakers were also up. Toyota gained 0.42 percent to 7,583 yen and Honda rallied 0.74 percent to 3,666 yen.