* Nikkei, Topix reach highest levels since early Dec

* Banks lifted after strong gains by U.S. peers

* Suzuki Motor slips as vehicle recall bites

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average and the broader Topix both scaled four-month highs on Monday, boosted by a surge in global equities and a weaker yen.

The Nikkei ended the day 1.37 percent higher at 22,169.11 after touching 22,211.03, its highest since Dec. 4.

Japanese shares were lifted after the S&P 500 closed within one percent of September’s record high on Friday, buoyed by JPMorgan’s strong earnings.

“Japanese shares had long lagged their global counterparts but they are finally beginning to catch up,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.

“U.S.-China