By Agence France-Presse
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.83 percent, or 183.30 points, to 22,201.82 while the broader Topix index was up 0.65 percent, or 11.32 points, at 1,747.45.
Investors chased back in after the Nikkei index dropped more than 1.5 percent on Wednesday, said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
"The market is now focusing a G7 meeting and an expected summit between the US and North Korea," Sato told AFP.
However, the crisis in Italy continued to linger, with anti-establishment leader Luigi Di Maio seeking to resurrect a populist coalition that collapsed over the weekend by offering the president a compromise on a controversial pick for economy minister.
The dollar was quoted at 108.80 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 108.91 yen in New York.
Energy giant JXTG rallied 4.07 percent to 702.9 yen and its rival Inpex was up 0.20 percent at 1,214 yen after oil prices bounced back slightly from recent losses.
Some exporters were higher, with Olympus up 2.79 percent at 3,860 yen, Canon climbing 0.48 percent to 3,714 yen and Toyota rising 1.16 percent to 6,921 yen.
Minutes before the opening bell, official data showed Japan's factory output picked up 0.3 percent on-month in April, well short of market expectations of a 1.4 percent rise.
The data comes after the world's third-largest economy shrank for the first time in two years in the January-March quarter.