TOKYO, March 5 (Reuters) – Japanese share prices ticked up on Thursday despite softness in Wall Street shares the previous day helped by optimism on the Japanese economy and bolstered by the Bank of Japan’s buying earlier this week.

The Nikkei rose 0.3 percent to 18,751.84 while the broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,523.72.

But trading volume was the lowest so far this year as investors looked to the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later in the day and the U.S. employment data on Friday.] The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.5 percent to 13,846.45.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)