The Nikkei leads Asian stocks lower following more weak Chinese economic data yesterday and amid increased tension in Ukraine, with the Japanese index slumping 3.3%. A sharp rise in the yen overnight didn't help matters.
"Japan stocks often take the first hit on bad Asian news, then when the U.S. markets fall later, they react to that as well, resulting in a 'double whammy' effect," says hedge-fund manager Ed Rogers.
Hong Kong shares are also suffering as the Hang Seng drops 0.9% and heads for its worst week since May 2012.
Elsewhere in Asia, China -0.8% and Indian -0.9%.
Meanwhile, Japanese industrial production rose 3.8% on month vs a prior estimate of +4%.
On year, output +10.3% vs +10.6%.
Capacity utilization +5.9% vs +2.2%.