TOKYO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose in thin, choppy trade on Tuesday as investors bought domestically-focused stocks and avoided taking large positions as the year draws to a close.
The Nikkei share average edged up 0.6 percent to 18,982.23, remaining on course to gain more than 8 percent for the year.
The Topix subindex for pharmaceuticals added 2 percent as investors bought into defensive shares, while the construction sector gained 1.8 percent.
The broader Topix gained 0.9 percent to end the day at 1,543.39 with all but one of its 33 subindexes in positive territory.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.9 percent to 13,926.95. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Sam Holmes)