The government says consumer prices in Japan declined for the 24th straight month in February.
It said Friday that Japan's core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier. Japan has battled persistent deflation, and the latest fall in prices underlines prolonged deflationary pressure on the world's No. 3 economy.
The preliminary core consumer price index for the Tokyo area _ considered an indicator of broader price trends for the country _ also declined 0.3 percent in March.