TOKYO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks were flat in thin, directionless trade on Tuesday as many investors sat on the sidelines ahead of the market's closure for a national holiday on Wednesday.
The Nikkei share average edged down by 0.2 percent to 18,886.70.
The Topix subindex for air transport gained 2.2 percent as crude prices remained near 2009 lows ahead of the holiday travel rush.
Japan Airlines Co Ltd rose 2.7 percent while competitor ANA Holdings Inc added 1.7 percent.
The construction sector gained 1.3 percent as Sekisui House Ltd climbed 2.2 percent after Barclays raised its target price to 2,500 yen from 2,100 yen.
Taisei Corp added to the gains, rising 1.6 percent after a design submitted by a Taisei-led consortium was chosen as the New National Stadium and centerpiece of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The broader Topix edged up 0.2 percent to 1,533.60 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.2 percent to 13,820.28. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)