Uncertainty over central banks rolling back stimulus saw the dollar/yen drop below the key 95-handle, hitting a new 10-week low. The Nikkei index is now down 21 percent from last month's five-and-a-half-year high of 15,942, placing the benchmark index firmly back in bear market territory.
Elsewhere in Asia, Chinese markets experienced a bout of heavy selling with theShanghai Composite down over 3 percent after being closed since last week. Seoul shares fell over 1 percent fell to a new seven-week low and Australia's S&P ASX 200 hit a fresh five-and-a-half-month low.
Markets in emerging Asia also extended losses as capital flows continue to exit emerging market equities. Philippine's benchmark index slumped 4 percent and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite fell 2 percent
Central Bank Jitters
Nagging worries about the Federal Reserve tapering its bond-buying program and disappointment from the Bank of Japan's policy inaction at its Tuesday meeting have roiled global equity markets in recent sessions, leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop for a third session in a row on Wednesday.
"We are seeing the first signs of a lack of confidence in the ability of central banks to control the interest rates, to stimulate inflation, and real GDP [gross domestic product] growth rates," said Viktor Shvets, head of strategy research, Asia, at Macquarie.