TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average fell to a 1-1/2 month low in choppy trade on Thursday morning as investors became cautious before the testimony in parliament by the head of a Japanese nationalist school at the heart of a political scandal.
The Nikkei was down 0.3 percent at 18,983.97 in early trade, its lowest intraday level since Feb. 9, after opening a tad higher.
Yasunori Kagoike will appear before the budget committees of the upper and lower houses to give sworn testimony, the latest twist in a crisis that is chipping away at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's popularity.
The broader Topix dropped 0.1 percent to 1,528.19 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.1 percent to 13,662.71. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Chris Gallagher)