* By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average erased gains and turned lower on Friday as the U.S. House of Representatives abruptly recessed after failing to muster enough support for a "fiscal cliff" bill, souring sentiment and dragging down shares of exporters.
The Nikkei was down 0.4 percent at 9,999.14 in late morning, after having risen as high as 10,175.06 earlier.
The House of Representatives will adjourn until after Christmas, Republican Representative Peter Roskam said, after Republican leaders conceded they could not gather enough Republican votes to pass their tax bill designed to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Analysts said investors had been ready to chase the market higher on hopes that the U.S. fiscal talks were moving towards a resolution, but they started pulling back after the news was out.
"The delay in resolving the U.S. fiscal cliff problem is raising concern as the market expected some sort of positive direction out of the talks by the end of the year," said Fujio Ando, a senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management.
Among exporters, Toyota Motor Corp fell 1.3 percent and Canon Inc lost 1 percent. The broader Topix fell 0.5 percent.