Asian stocks have plummeted for a sixth straight day on worries about the health of Spanish banks and the political and financial crises in Greece.
World markets have been roiled this week by political instability in Europe. Greece has been left without a government since its Sunday elections, adding to growing worries that it will drop out of the euro currency union or be forced out.
Tokyo stocks opened some half a percent lower following falls on Wall Street.
Strategists say the Japanese economy is expected to be hit by concerns about the ability of the US economy to recover.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.75 percent on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Spain has taken over Bankia -- the country's fourth-biggest lender. Observers say the move is aimed at showing Madrid's ability to clean up its financial sector.
Although experts believe the concerns are growing over weak European and Chinese data and the global economic outlook, the looming deadline for a Greek debt deal has also exacerbated the market.
The European Union (EU) has confirmed that the eurozone economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter last year.