TOKYO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks held firm on Monday though uncertainty about Britain's exit from the European Union kept many investors on the sidelines.
Trade was slow ahead of a Japanese public holiday on Tuesday for the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, who acceded to the throne in May.
The Nikkei share average rose 0.25% to 22,549.07, staying near 10-month highs of 22,649.85 hit on Friday. The broader Topix gained 0.44% to 1,629.11.
Japanese shares have maintained their firm tone overall, on budding hopes that the worst may be over for technology sectors as Washington and Beijing agreed to an tentative truce on their trade war earlier this month.
Still, data earlier in the day underlined the strains on the nation's exporters, with shipments contracting for the 10th straight month in September.
Some chip-related shares remained in demand, though others slipped on profit-taking after their recent gains.
Sumco rose 0.5% to one-year high while Screen Holdings dropped 0.4% after hitting fresh one-year high.
But Taiyo Yuden fell 2.4% while Yaskawa Electric dropped 1.1%.
Apart from semi-conductor shares, trade was generally slow with many investors looking to the UK, where the parliament forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek a delay to an Oct. 31 deadline for Britain's departure from the bloc. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)